Americans put their trust in medical professionals who treat them. In fact, nurses and other medical professionals are some of the most trusted people in the country.
Studies show, however, the a surprising number of people who are seen in emergency rooms and outpatient clinics across the country are given the wrong diagnosis or leave the facility without getting a diagnosis at all.
While these patients are being treated for the wrong ailment, or are receiving no treatment, the actual underlying problem can worsen. Furthermore, the treatment they are undergoing can cause unpleasant side effects or painful recovery periods.
A study published in BMJ Quality & Safety found that more than 12 million adult patients are misdiagnosed in these settings. This equates to 1 in 20 patients each year. In at least half of those cases, patients may be harmed as a result of the medical error.