Modern health care is flooded with such massive amounts of data that it is an increasing struggle for doctors to adequately keep track of all the information. This has led to an inefficient system increasingly reliant on specialists. Arizona patients often spend a great deal of time and expense bouncing between their general care physician and sometimes dozens of specialized physicians. There is often limited communication between them. Many patients are left confused and with contradictory information. There is also a strong chance important information will be missed or miscommunicated.
These problems have pushed medical researchers to try and implement computerized diagnostic systems. The logic follows that a computer will be able to process a much more comprehensive amount of medical information, essentially replacing the knowledge of a team of specialists. If successful, this process would allow a patient to communicate with only a single doctor who would help them to understand the computer's diagnosis and plan appropriate treatment.
Researchers have encountered a variety of problems with implementing a successful system. These problems have included contradictory data being entered and trouble with the computer translating the medical information into an accurate diagnosis. A team of live doctors has been able to outperform the computer program in testing. Despite this, researchers are confident they will eventually able to improve the program enough that it will ease much of the strain on doctors.
There is concern that doctors who must diagnose many patients quickly and with limited information will make mistakes in diagnosis that could cause great harm to patients. Doctor errors in diagnosis may result in a patient receiving improper treatment, or they may delay important treatment and result in more serious illness. A patient that receives an improper diagnosis and was harmed by the result may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to learn what options may be available.