Diagnostic errors in the emergency department(ED), as discussed on Medscape.
Of all the sources of errors listed, you, as the patient, have a great deal of control over communication errors. A patient going to the ED is less able to communicate, due to fear, pain, and urgent symptoms. In addition, other communication blocks, such as lack of sleep, ADHD, brain fog due to disease or medication may be present. As a patient, you can avoid "Anchoring the Diagnosis" by being very clear about intensity, frequency, duration, and time of appearance of symptoms when seeking treatment in the emergency department.
"One Source of Error: 'Anchoring' the Diagnosis
Fundamentally a diagnostic specialty, the fast-paced, complex, and unpredictable ED has been called "a natural laboratory of error." Of course, no single cause or precipitating factor can explain all diagnostic errors, regardless of setting. Atypical presentations, communication failures
, technical errors, and patient noncompliance all can contribute to diagnostic error. But so can a myriad of phenomena that fall into the category of "cognitive error." In emergency medicine and when dealing with urgent symptoms, one such error is "anchoring the diagnosis"—when a clinician becomes fixed on salient features of the patient's presentation too early in the diagnostic process and clings to this impression even in light of contradictory evidence. Anchoring can be overcome with cognitive debiasing techniques that help clinicians develop sound clinical reasoning abilities."http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/diagnostic-errors/emergency-medicine?nlid=104467_1521&src=WNL_mdplsfeat_160503_mscpedit_wir&spon=17&impID=1083606&faf=1#page=12