Your diagnosis

A study done by The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) , showed that mistakes in diagnosis 'remains the most common, most catastrophic and most costly of medical errors. The analysis provides context for a 2015 National Academy of Medicine report that highlighted that diagnostic errors result in up to 80,000 deaths annually in U.S. hospitals.'

The articles below & current research point to the importance of getting a second opinion for any serious or life-changing diagnosis.  Second opinions can also be obtained for surgery, tests, biopsies, pathology testing for a cancer diagnosis or other medical test results. 

Large employers (like WalMart & others) are realizing that sending their employees to 'Centers of Excellence'  and/or for second opinions when they are faced with high risk surgery or a new serious condition is valuable. It is not only helping their employees get to the right diagnosis and treatment, but it's saving them & their employees money. That's because a misdiagnosis can lead to additional expensive health issues.  A preventable complication after surgery like an infection can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to a patient's bill. 

We can't endorse the companies or Centers of Excellence resources below or the cost of obtaining a second opinion.  We are listing them to inform consumers of their availability.  You can also research medical specialists near you or located in a large city where many Centers of Excellence are located.

Always check with your insurance company first to see if they will pay for a second opinion and any treatment they recommend.  You will also need a copy of your medical records, testing, radiology discs and reports before your appointment for a second opinion.

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How To Prepare for a Doctor's Appointment
Great list of steps & questions to consider. From the National Institute on Aging. 

Next Steps After Your Diagnosis
From The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ).  List of steps with links to resources for finding more information about your diagnosis & treatment options, support and more.

Guide to Getting a Second Opinion Before Surgery
Note: You can also visit our page on Surgery Resources .

Second Opinions: Two Heads Are Better Than One
From the Patient Advocate Foundation, a printable information sheet.

An on-demand, pay-as-you-go, contract-free service offering radiology readings, second opinions, educational consults, and diagnoses from specialty radiologists from reputable academic hospitals in the United States.

PinnacleCare's List of Centers of Excellence
PinnacleCare is a 'personalized'medical service that manages care for patients. Their services may not be covered by insurance. This is their published list of hospitals they send their patients to for surgery or serious medical conditions.
A site for patients with clear explanations, descriptions, and safety information for radiology tests and procedures.  It explains basic x-rays, MRIs, cancer radiation therapy, nuclear radiation and more.  

WalMart 2020 List of Centers of Excellence
Walmart employs approximately 1.5 million people in the US alone. When their employees needs surgery or care for a serious medical condition, they choose hospitals known to have fewer complication rates. This is their list of some of those 'Centers of Excellence' .

 Tips & Tools

Please note:  This is a great guide to help you understand the sections of the report, and to trigger questions you can write down & ask your doctor or radiologist. Ask your medical provider to explain the results to you in simple terms you can understsand and  whether it's a serious diagnosis or not, you can ask for a second opinion of your imaging results. 


From The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine:

Patient Stories of missed or misdiagnosis
Tell Your Story of diagnosis-related issues

Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Guide for Improving Diagnosis Safety & Quality
Want to convince your hospital to address the issue of missed, delayed or misdiagnosis or other patient safety issues?                    Here's a hospital leader's guide to help them get started.

The Patient's Toolkit for Diagnosis: To prepare for your next medical appointment and help you partner with your health care team. You can print, fill it out, and take this printable sheet with you to your next appointment.

Planetree Patient-Family Resources
The organization that pioneered patient-centered care. You'll find printable tools like a 'Patient Preferences Passport', and 'Fifty Ways to be an Engaged Patient'


 Read Up

Article: Walmart is so desperate to fix healthcare, it flies employees to top hospitals in other states for treatment, MSNBC, by Christina Farr, March 14, 2019 

Article: Biopsy: 5 Things Every Patient Should Know, by Aziza Nassar, MD, FCAP, Professor of Pathology and Director of Cytopathology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL.

ArticlePathologists: A Second Opinion From A Doctor You Should Know, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, by Michael Prystowsky, M.D., PH.D. October 8, 2015 

Fact SheetThe Human Cost & Financial Impact of Misdiagnosis
From PinnacleCare





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