State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company’s Winter 2008-09 quarterly newsletter, Risk Points, has an interesting article discussing the diagnosis of appendicitis. This illness occurs in 250,000 people in the United States every year, and the mortality rate increases 500% if the appendix ruptures.
A sample from the article: "Thus clinicians should focus on the time of onset rather than the time the patient first presents for evaluation when deciding whether a ‘wait and see’ approach is warranted. A good habit is a scheduled return appointment or referral within a reasonable time frame for a second evaluation in patients with unconfirmed abdominal pain etiologies When a diagnosis is unclear, it is crucial that your rationale, patient instructions and followup plan are well documented in the chart."
The article begins on Page 2.