This week in "Doctor and Patient," I write about an increasingly popular topic of research in patient safety: diagnostic failures, or diagnoses that are delayed or in error. While some researchers have focused on the role of doctors -- are there flaws in the way they think? Are gut reactions reliable? -- others have looked at the steps involved in care. What has emerged most recently from this latter group of studies is that diagnostic failures are often due to missed steps, so-called "process of care lapses," that stem from both doctors and patients.
Have you, as a patient, doctor, or both, experienced a process of care lapse that led to a missed or late diagnosis? Who is ultimately responsible for diagnostic failures and how can we decrease them? Please leave your comments below or in Tara Parker-Pope's "Well" blog.