Commentary: Neurologic Screening in Primary Care Prevents Misdiagnosis

May 2, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​Research shows that the burden of neurologic disease is increasing, so incorporating an efficient yet thorough screening neurologic exam into primary care visits is critical in avoiding diagnostic errors, states the author of a commentary from the April 2014 edition of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's online case study review, WebM&M. In the spotlight case, a 54-year-old man presented to a new primary care physician complaining of two years of progressive bilateral hand and foot paresthesia, pain, and weakness. The physician diagnosed a peripheral neuropathy and referred the patient to a neurologist. Over the following weeks, the patient returned to the clinic twice with worsening symptoms and saw two different providers, but they did not order additional diagnostic testing, assuming his symptoms were due to the previously diagnosed peripheral neuropathy.

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