How and Why Does Misdiagnosis Happen?

How to Prevent and Manage Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is the lack of correct diagnosis regarding the illness and concerns of a patient. A misdiagnosis usually leads to no treatment, or incorrect treatment, resulting in a serious impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. Due to the incorrect illness being targeted, a patient may experience debilitating results. This can lead to further health problems, causing the patient to undergo more extreme medical treatment. Several factors contribute to causing misdiagnosis, the most common being an error in symptom management, poor communication, and service providers disbelieving patients. For example, a woman experiencing abdominal pain may be diagnosed with gastrointestinal problems, when really she is developing ovarian cancer. A patient who is not in touch with their body, or who is unable to accurately track their symptoms, will cause their misdiagnosis, and therefore their access to correct treatment, to be prolonged.

The good news is that preventing misdiagnosis is possible! Here are 3 of our best tips.

  • Know your health history: it’s important to know not only your own but also your family’s health history. Don’t expect your doctor to remember that your great aunt had breast cancer, or that diabetes runs in your family. Knowing your history allows you to feel confident when talking to your doctor, and will give both of you a better insight into possible illnesses and disease management.
  • Ask questions and communicate clearly: engage in open communication with your doctor. Remember that they’re there to help you, not judge you. It’s easy for your doctor to refer you to a specialist without having all your questions answered first. Asking questions will allow you to feel more comfortable, and will also disrupt your doctor’s thought process, allowing them to consider other diagnoses and treatments.
  • Track your symptoms: the medical industry is constantly evolving with new information and technology, and you may find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of services available to you. Tracking your symptoms is the easiest way to stay on top of your health, and also gives you peace of mind that you have accurately recorded information regarding your health.
If you continue to experience symptoms despite receiving treatment, or feel your diagnosis is wrong, then you should explore alternative options to figuring out what your real diagnosis might be. These alternatives include having a second opinion from a general practitioner, consulting specialists, and correct symptom management. At Wanngi, we allow you to feel confident in the knowledge that your health data and medical information is securely stored in one place. You can easily track your symptoms, upload documents, and never forget your health again.