Medical diagnoses that are wrong, missed, or delayed make up a large portion of all medical errors and cause substantial suffering and injury. This is not only a problem for the health care industry overall, but can be a very scary prospect for patients. According to a 2015 National Academy of Medicine report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime. The report also finds that inaccurate or delayed diagnosis has been “a blind spot in the delivery of quality care.”
Several ongoing efforts aim to change these startling statistics, and ensure improvements in diagnoses. A recent Wall Street Journal article, by reporter Laura Landro, covers the topic and features researchers who are finding new ways to make sure physicians “make the right call.”
“There is a huge opportunity to put knowledge and tools into the hands of clinicians to help them make a better or more timely and accurate diagnosis,” says Janet Corrigan, chief program officer of the Moore Foundation’s Patient Care Program.
We are currently supporting several efforts to ensure patient safety, including diagnostic excellence. Several of these efforts are mentioned in The Wall Street Journal article: Safer Dx Learning Lab (a partnership with Geisinger Medical Center and Baylor College), the Human Diagnosis Project and PRIDE (Primary Care Research in Diagnostic Errors).