AHRQ Health IT Update: Diagnostic Errors and EHRsAgency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sent this bulletin at 05/20/2013 07:20 AM EDT
EHRs Used to Identify Wrong Diagnosis, How Care Could Be Improved
Most cases of wrong diagnosis (diagnostic errors) occur with common ailments and are related to process break-downs that happen during visits with health care providers, according to a study supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Researchers used electronic health records to identify cases of diagnostic error in primary care settings. Some of the most commonly missed conditions were pneumonia, heart failure, kidney failure, or new cancers. Failures in taking patient histories, physical examination and follow-up testing were the most common contributors to wrong diagnosis, which can put patients at risk for moderate to severe harm. The study suggests that better methods are needed to help clinicians gather and synthesize information, especially for illnesses that have similar symptoms.
“Types and Origins of Diagnostic Errors in Primary Care Settings” appeared online February 25, 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
To access the abstract, select: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440149