New Report Calls for Increased Focus on Diagnostic Errors
A new report released by the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine or IOM) outlines how health care stakeholders can more quickly identify, resolve and reduce the incidence of diagnostic errors and improve patient safety. Improving Diagnosis in Health Carereveals that most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, whether an incorrect diagnosis or a diagnosis that’s delayed. These errors, according to the report, contribute to approximately 10 percent of patient deaths and between 6 percent and 17 percent of hospital adverse events. Diagnostic errors are also the largest category of paid medical malpractice claims and are almost twice as likely to have resulted in a patient death compared with other claims, according to the report. The report identifies eight recommendations to improve diagnosis, including how patients and health professionals can better communicate, as well as how diagnostic errors can serve as the catalyst for delivering safer care, both of which align with AHRQ’s core mission. Read AHRQ Director Richard Kronick’s blog about how AHRQ will address the new recommendations.
Getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect of health care -- it provides an explanation of a patient's health problem and informs subsequent health care decisions. Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, a continuation of the landmark Institute of Medicine reports To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System (2000) and Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century (2001) finds that diagnosis -- and, in particular, the occurrence of diagnostic errors -- has been largely unappreciated in efforts to improve the quality and safety of health care. The result of this inattention is significant: the committee concluded that most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.
Urgent change is warranted to address this challenge. Improving diagnosis will require collaboration and a widespread commitment to change among health care professionals, health care organizations, patients and their families, researchers, and policy makers. The recommendations from Improving Diagnosis in Health Care contribute to the growing momentum for change in this crucial area of health care quality and safety.
- See more at: http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2015/Improving-Diagnosis-in-Healthcare.aspx#sthash.rWwIht5f.dpuf
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