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Virtual second opinions and misdiagnoses

With the fact that about 12 million people across the country experience diagnostic mistakes in outpatient care annually, according to the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, Montana patients who want a second medical opinion may enjoy telehealth and telemedicine services. This is a convenient way to communicate with physicians and has become increasingly popular.

Through these services, patients have the ability to contact their doctors through messaging encounters, have data electronically transmitted from monitoring and sensory devices sent to their provider or do refractory testing online to get a prescription from their optometrist. This method also allows people to get second opinions from specialists without traveling to another state or city.

Whenever diagnostic errors in outpatient care occur, employers, caregivers and patients often suffer financial losses. Diagnostic errors could also cause people to suffer setbacks to their health, receive unnecessary treatments and experience delays in obtaining the right treatment and care for their condition. Diagnostic errors are also part of the $750 billion that is squandered on various health inefficiencies and unnecessary services. For these reasons, many people would like to get a second opinion for their illness, but patients, their employers and some health insurers may not know how to obtain one. However, with second-opinion services and virtual care coordination, the gap between local providers and patients is being bridged. The services provide better outcomes and are cost efficient as well.

With the high number of diagnostic errors that happen every year, there is an increased chance that patients can be severely harmed as a result. An attorney who has medical malpractice experience can often be of assistance in helping such a patient seek appropriate compensation.

Source: Multi Briefs, "Reducing misdiagnosis with virtual second opinions", Christina Thielst, May 4, 2017

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Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: 406-203-5148
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