Three strategies can help when you need emergency care, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Writing a summary of what’s going on for you and asking good questions may help you avoid a missed diagnosis when you come to an emergency department. That’s according to David Newman-Toker at Johns Hopkins and lead author of a recent study on missed diagnoses in the ED.

Newman-Toker: The third is the most important especially from the emergency department. Which is this remaining vigilant after you leave. So after you leave there’s a risk for most patients that they think that if they’re not getting better or if things are kind of going off script in some other way that maybe it’s because they don’t have the right treatment, but sometimes it’s because they don’t have the right diagnosis. In those circumstances you really have to aggressively pursue your care in the medical system. You have to understand that it’s a possibility that you’ve been misdiagnosed and that that may be the reason why you’re not getting better.  :32

Newman-Toker says if you can, seeing your primary care physician may be best since your history will also be known. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.