Health App for Doctors Improves Diagnostic Accuracy

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In North Carolina, a common type of medical error that doctors sometimes make occurs when they are making diagnostic decisions such as deciding what types of lab tests that they should order. Misdiagnoses can lead to patient harm, making it important to reduce their likelihood.

According to a study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Baylor College of Medicine found that one diagnostic app improves diagnostic accuracy. The mobile app that was examined in the study was the CDC's PTT Advisor.

The researchers chose eight different scenarios involving hematological disorders, which are difficult for many doctors to accurately diagnose. They presented the scenarios to 46 different doctors who worked at seven different hospitals. Each doctor used the PTT Advisor app to order laboratory tests for four scenarios and to help to diagnose the disorders. They used other research methods of their choosing to diagnose the remaining four. The researchers found that the PTT Advisor app increased the accuracy of the doctors' testing choices and diagnoses by 13 percent. Use of the app by doctors may help to minimize the number of medical errors that are made during the diagnostic process.

When people are given the wrong diagnoses, they may receive inappropriate treatment that can harm them. The delays in obtaining the correct diagnoses may also allow their underlying diseases to worsen and make their prognoses worse. People who are harmed by hospital negligence or the families of people who die because of malpractice might benefit by consulting with experienced medical malpractice lawyers. If they agree to accept the cases, they may work to recover the maximum compensation for their clients.

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