Mulley A, Trimble C, Elwyn G. Patients’ preferences matter: Stop the silent misdiagnosis. The King’s Fund. 2012 May. Retrieved from http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/patients_preferences.html
Many doctors aspire to excellence in diagnosing disease. Far fewer, unfortunately, aspire to the same standards of excellence in diagnosing what patients want. In fact, we will present an accumulation of evidence which shows that preference misdiagnoses are commonplace. In part, this is because doctors are rarely made aware that they have made a preference misdiagnosis. It is the silent misdiagnosis.
The NHS must break this silence. It must stop the silent misdiagnosis. When it does so, it will score three distinct victories. First, patients, who can suffer just as much from a preference misdiagnosis as a medical misdiagnosis, will get the medicine they would choose were they well informed — that is, if they had better information about treatment options, outcomes, and evidence. Second, the NHS’s aspiration to create an ‘internal market’ will finally have a chance to achieve its full potential. Third, because patients choose fewer treatments when fully informed, the NHS could save billions of pounds.