Diagnostic error: incidence, impacts, causes and preventive strategies

Ian A Scott and Carmel Crock
Med J Aust 2020; 213 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50771
Published online: 21 September 2020

Some form of diagnostic error occurs in up to one in seven clinical encounters, and most are preventable

Diagnosis consists of eliciting information from history and examination, formulating a differential diagnosis, and selecting a final diagnosis based on the predictive value of specific clinical features and laboratory investigations. A timely and accurate diagnosis is every patient’s expectation.

  • Ian A Scott1,2
  • Carmel Crock3

  • 1 Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 3 Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, VIC


Competing interests:

Ian Scott is a foundational member of the Australian and New Zealand Affiliate of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (ANZA‐SIDM). Carmel Crock is the inaugural chair of ANZA‐SIDM.


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