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“Most Americans will encounter at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine (now known as the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies).

Furthermore, the Kaiser Family Foundation says nearly 1 in 3 patients or their family members have been affected by a preventable medical error with 21 percent suffering a serious health consequence. The number of hospital deaths due to medical errors has escalated to more than 250,000 annually.

And now, after many years of the lens being fixed on treatment errors, diagnostic mistakes are coming into focus. Not only does a misguided diagnosis take a toll on a patient’s physical and emotion well-being, it places an unnecessary financial burden on the health care system. Preventable medical errors and subsequent care requirements are estimated to cost the United States between $17 and $29 billion each year, according to the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies.”

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