WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Inaccurate or delayed diagnoses are far too common and urgently need to be addressed by the medical community, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Most people will experience at least one inaccurate or delayed diagnosis in their lifetimes.

“Despite the pervasiveness of diagnostic error and the risk for patient harm, they have been largely unappreciated within the quality safety movement in health care and this cannot and must not continue,” warned Dr. Victor Dzau, the president of the National Academy of Medicine.

The report faults a medical culture that often tries to cover up mistakes, preventing attempts to learn and improve.

They also noted a lack of communication between doctors, patients and their families.

“The time has come to address diagnostic errors,” Dr. Mark Graber, founder and president of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, told CBS News.

The report recommends that doctors and health care providers should provide patients greater opportunities to learn about their diagnoses.

Patients should also get improved access to electronic health records, including clinical notes and test results.

“Diagnostic errors are nothing new, they’ve been happening all along and this report emphasizes how significant they are,” added Graber.

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