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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Study

Rate of diagnostic errors and serious misdiagnosis-related harms for major vascular events, infections, and cancers: toward a national incidence estimate using the “Big Three”.

Newman-Toker DE, Wang Z, Zhu Y, et al. Diagnosis. 2020.

Prior research based on claims data found that fifteen conditions related to vascular events, infections, and cancers (the ‘Big Three’) account for approximately 50% of all serious misdiagnosis-related harm. Based on a review of 28 studies representing over 91,000 patients, these authors estimated that the median diagnostic error rates for these conditions was 13.6%, ranging from 2.2% (myocardial infarction) to 62.1% (spinal abscess). The median serious misdiagnosis-related harm rate was estimated to be 5.5%, ranging from 1.2% (myocardial infarction) to 35.6% (spinal abscess).