Diagnostic errors in healthcare are at epidemic proportions and causing serious safety concerns, yet the problem has received limited attention from the medical community, according to a core finding in an Institute of Medicine report on diagnostic errors released on Tuesday.

“Urgent change is warranted to address this challenge,” states the IOM report. “For decades, diagnostic errors—inaccurate or delayed diagno­ses—have represented a blind spot in the delivery of quality healthcare. Diagnostic errors persist throughout all settings of care and continue to harm an unacceptable number of patients.”

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