Audit reveals surprising level of misdiagnosis in diabetes

Over 4 per cent of people diagnosed with diabetes were found either to not have the disease or to have been classified with the wrong type in an audit cited in a new report by the Royal College of General Practitioners and NHS Diabetes.

These findings emerged in a pilot of audit tools in England to improve diagnosis, classification and coding of the disease across five practices with 1600 people on diabetes registers. Some 2.2 per cent of patients were found to have been incorrectly diagnosed with diabetes, while 2.1 per cent were classified with the wrong type of diabetes and just under 1 per cent had their type of diabetes coded as indeterminable.

The RCGP/NHS Diabetes report aims to improve the diagnosis, classification and coding of diabetes by providing advice and support to clinicians as well as free, downloadable practice audit tools to aid accurate diagnosis.

Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the RCGP and a practising GP in London, said: "Diabetes is a growing concern for GPs and their teams and it is crucial that patients receive the correct diagnosis so that they can start to receive the appropriate treatment and care.

"The report found that the overwhelming majority of people are correctly diagnosed with what is increasingly recognised as a very complex condition. However in a few cases people have been misdiagnosed, misclassified or miscoded with diabetes. The new guidelines and audit tools will be of great benefit to doctors and patients and we will be working very closely with our members and other primary care colleagues to introduce them into widespread clinical practice."

Link: Coding, Classification and Diagnosis of Diabetes