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1 - 19 of 19
Cheraghi-Sohi S, Holland F, Singh H, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:977-985.
Diagnostic error continues to be a source of preventable patient harm. The authors undertook a retrospective review of primary care consultations to identify incidence, origin and avoidable harm of missed diagnostic opportunities (MDO). Nearly three-quarters of MDO involved multiple process breakdowns (e.g., history taking, misinterpretation of diagnostic tests, or lack of follow up). Just over one third resulted in moderate to severe avoidable patient harm. Because the majority of MDO involve several contributing factors, interventions, including policy changes, should be multipronged.

Cleghorn E. New York, NY: Dutton; 2021. ISBN: 9780593182956.

Women have been affected by implicit bias that undermines the safety of their care and trust in the medical system. This book shares the history anchoring the mindsets driving ineffective care for women and a discussion of the author’s long-term lupus misdiagnosis.
Brown SD. Pediatr Radiol. 2021;51:1070-1075.
Misdiagnosis of child abuse has far-reaching implications. This commentary discusses the ethical tensions faced by pediatric radiologists of both over- and under-diagnosing child abuse. The author suggests ways that physicians and professional societies can partner with legal advocates to create a more balanced pool of experts to alleviate perceptions of bias and acknowledge harms of misdiagnosed child abuse.

Northwest Safety and Quality Partnership. June 22, 2021. 

Diagnostic radiology mistakes contribute to delays and ineffective treatments that contribute to patient harm. This webinar examined factors that contribute to errors in image interpretation and will highlight strategies to learn from those errors to improve diagnostic process reliability. Registering for the program provides access to the recording.

Medscape Medical News. May 12, 2021.

Delays and mistakes in health care for distinct patient populations hold improvement lessons for the broader system. This news story highlights problems in correctional system cancer diagnoses and treatment that may indicate other types of prison care delivery problems.
Zhou Y, Walter FM, Singh H, et al. Cancers (Basel). 2021;13:156.
Delays in cancer diagnosis can lead to treatment delays and patient harm. This study linking primary care and cancer registry data found that more than one-quarter of bladder and kidney cancer patients presenting with fast-tract referral features did not achieve a timely diagnosis. These findings suggest inadequate adherence to guidelines intended to help identify patients with high risk of cancer based on the presence of alarm signs and symptoms.

Wu KJ. New York Times. October 25, 2020.

False-positive test results, while rare, can create conditions for patient harm. This news story discusses negative impacts of a false-positive COVID test. The unintended consequences of the mistake could be unneeded isolation, inappropriate treatment and patient exposure to infection due to isolation strategies in care facilities.  
Clifford S. The Atlantic. 2020;August 20.
Diagnostic decision-making is susceptible to cognitive biases and error in stressful situations. This feature article illustrates how misdiagnosed child abuse can not only affect the patient but create collateral damage to the families involved.
Abelson J, Tran AB, Kornfield M, et al. The Seattle Times. 2020;July 13.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted health care delivery in a variety of settings. This magazine story shares the results of interviews with university students across the country to identify weaknesses found in college health center processes that have resulted in care delays and misdiagnosis.

Cumberlege J. London, England, Crown Copyright. July 8, 2020.

Implicit biases are known to affect the safety of health care. This analysis of the National Health Service (NHS) found weaknesses in NHS’ consideration of and response to women’s medication and medical device concerns. Among the recommendations submitted to improve patient centeredness and respect for patients are the establishment of central yet independent authority to serve as the conduit to address patient concerns and improve system safety accountability.
Aschwanden C. Wired Magazine. January 10, 2020.
The unintended consequences of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare continue to generate clinician concern. This magazine piece examines the potential diagnostic improvements to be realized from AI while cautioning about its premature use generating overdiagnosis and overtreatment.
Judson TJ, Press MJ, Detsky AS. Healthc (Amst). 2019;7:4-6.
Health care is working to provide high-value care and prevent overuse while ensuring patient safety. This commentary highlights the importance of educational initiatives, mentors, and use of clinical decision support to help clinicians determine what amount of care is appropriate for a given clinical situation.
Shermock KM, Streiff MB, Pinto BL, et al. J Thromb Haemost. 2011;9:1769-1775.
In this study, investigators compared international normalized ratio measurements (INR, a measurement of blood clotting ability) obtained simultaneously on a point-of-care analyzer and a standard blood draw. Although the concordance between the two measurements met traditional quality assurance standards, the point-of-care analyzer results were systematically biased toward normal measurements, putting patients at risk of preventable adverse events due to failure to adjust anticoagulant medications appropriately.
Amalberti R, Brami J. BMJ Qual Saf. 2012;21:729-36.
The systems approach to analyzing adverse events emphasizes how active errors (those made by individuals) and latent errors (underlying system flaws) contribute to preventable harm. Adverse events in ambulatory care may arise from an especially complex array of latent errors. This paper explores the role of time management problems, which the authors term "tempos," as a contributor to errors in ambulatory care. Through a review of closed malpractice claims, the authors identify 5 tempos that can affect the risk of an adverse event: disease tempo (the expected disease course), patient tempo (timing of complaints and adherence to recommendations), office tempo (including the availability of clinicians and test results), system tempo (such as access to specialists or emergency services), and access to knowledge. The role of these tempos in precipitating diagnostic errors and communication errors is discussed through analysis of the patterns of errors in malpractice claims. A preventable adverse event caused by misunderstanding of disease tempo is discussed in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary.
Following an appendectomy, an elderly man continued to have right lower quadrant pain. Reviewing the specimen removed during the surgery, the pathologist found no appendiceal tissue. The patient was emergently taken back to the OR, and the appendix was located and removed.

Rein L. Washington Post. July 21, 2009:E1.

This news article reports on Washington, DC–area initiatives to track preventable patient injury and discusses strategies to hold hospitals accountable to reduce the number of avoidable incidents.
Interrupted during a telephone handoff, an ED physician, despite limited information, must treat a patient in respiratory arrest. The patient is stabilized and transferred to the ICU with a presumed diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia and septic shock. Later, ICU physicians obtain further history that leads to the correct diagnosis: pulmonary embolism.