Diagnostic Error Reduction Requires Organizations’ Preoccupation with Diagnostic Safety

January 28, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Healthcare organizations have not adopted a systematic process to measure the rate of diagnostic errors occurring in their facilities, says an article in the February 2015 issue of BMJ Quality & Safety proposing a framework for system-wide measurement, monitoring, and reduction of diagnostic error. The authors define diagnostic error as "missed opportunities to make a correct or timely diagnosis based on the available evidence, regardless of patient harm." In the ambulatory setting, about 12 million U.S. patients annually are affected by diagnostic errors. The proposed framework emphasizes the multiple factors that can shape clinicians' cognitive performance, such as hardware and software applications, workflow and communication, and organizational policies.

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