Over a third of emergency department patients are discharged with a symptom-based diagnosis (e.g. chest pain) after dangerous causes of their symptoms have been “ruled out.” This diagnostic uncertainty causes patient distress and often leads to ED recidivism as patients seek a diagnosis. We will discuss the development and testing of a patient-centered approach to communicating about diagnostic uncertainty in the acute care setting.
Danielle McCarthy, MD, MS
Associate Professor & Vice Chair of Research, Department of Emergency Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine