Texas researchers predict that one in twenty or ~12M people in outpatient settings in the U.S. are misdiagnosed by doctors each year. About half could potentially harm patients.
They analyzed 3,000 patient records and found a misdiagnosis rate of 5%. Extrapolating the rate to the 80% of U.S. adults who receive outpatient medical care yields 12M people.
Faulty medical records and other potential flaws in the data could mean the real misdiagnosis rate is higher.
The study's lead author, Dr. Hardeep Singh of Baylor College of Medicine, hopes his team's findings give quality-of-care stakeholders a clearer sense of the problem.