Essential element 1: Clinical assessment and diagnosis

The first step in delivering comprehensive care is undertaking a clinical assessment. Clinical assessment should be based on the patient’s subjective report of the symptoms and course of the illness or condition, and objective findings from clinical assessment to determine provisional and differential diagnoses.

Diagnostic error has been reported frequently in different types of investigations and research, and contributes to patient harm. Accurate clinical assessment and diagnosis is crucial to developing a comprehensive care plan that is appropriate, effective and aligned with a patient’s lifestyle and wellbeing.

Resources for clinical assessment and diagnosis