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Cecil E, Bottle A, Majeed A, et al. Br J Gen Pract. 2021;71:e547-e554.
There has been an increased focus on patient safety, including missed diagnosis, in primary care in recent years. This cohort study evaluated the incidence of emergency hospital admission within 3 days of a visit with a GP with missed sepsis, ectopic pregnancy, urinary tract infection or pulmonary embolism. Shorter duration of appointment and telephone appointment (compared with in person) were associated with increased incidence of self-referred emergency hospital admission.
Burrus S, Hall M, Tooley E, et al. Pediatrics. 2021;148:e2020030346.
Based on analysis of four years of data submitted to the Child Health Patient Safety Organization (CHILDPSO), researchers sought to identify types of serious safety events and contributing factors. Three main groups of serious safety events were identified: patient care management, procedural errors, and product or device errors. Contributing factors included lack of situational awareness, process failures, and failure to communicate effectively.
Fatemi Y, Coffin SE. Diagnosis (Berl). 2021;8:525-531.
Using case studies, this commentary describes how availability bias, diagnostic momentum, and premature closure resulted in delayed diagnosis for three pediatric patients first diagnosed with COVID-19. The authors highlight cognitive and systems factors that influenced this diagnostic error.

London, UK: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman; 2021. ISBN 9781528627016. 

Lack of appropriate follow up of diagnostic imaging can result in care delays, patient harm, and death. This report summarizes an investigation of 25 imaging failures in the British National Health Service (NHS). The analysis identified communication and coordination issues resulting in lack of action and reporting of unanticipated findings to properly advance care. Recommendations to improve imaging in the NHS include use of previous analyses to enhance learning from failure.

Rosen M, Ali KJ, Buckley BO, et al. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; June 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 20(21)-0040-5-EF.

The mindset on diagnostic error improvement has gone from a focus on individual skills to that of system factors. This issue brief highlights the influence health system executives have on amending the care environment to facilitate the most effective environment for diagnostic accuracy. This is part of a publication series examining diagnostic improvement across health care.
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.
Cifra CL, Sittig DF, Singh H. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:591-597.
Accurate and timely feedback about patient outcomes can inform and improve future clinical decision-making; however, many barriers exist that prevent effective feedback. This article suggests a sociotechnical approach using information technology (IT) to provide clinician feedback. Feedback sent using the electronic health record can be provided asynchronously, by any member of the care team, and in a structured format to ensure relevance and usefulness.

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.
DeGrave AJ, Janizek JD, Lee S-I. Nat Mach Intell. 2021;3:610–619.
Artificial intelligence (AI) systems can support diagnostic decision-making. This study evaluates diagnostic “shortcuts” learned by AI systems in detecting COVID-19 in chest radiographs. Results reveal a need for better training data, improved choice in the prediction task, and external validation of the AI system prior to dissemination and implementations in different hospitals.  
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.
Barwise A, Leppin A, Dong Y, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:239-248.
Diagnostic errors and delays continue to be a widespread patient safety concern in hospitalized patients. Researchers conducted focus groups with key clinician stakeholders to determine factors that contribute to diagnostic error and delay. Clinicians indicated that organizational, interactional, clinician, and patient factors all interact to cause errors and delays. These diverse factors must be considered when implementing interventions to reduce diagnostic errors and delays.

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.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. April 2021.

Safe diagnosis in medical offices is challenged by staff workload, communication, and poor information sharing. This Supplemental Item Set for the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Medical Office Survey (MOSOPS) examines elements contributing to time availability, testing and referrals, and provider and staff communication, and is to be used in conjunction with AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Medical Office Survey. The Diagnostic Safety Supplemental Item Set was released in time for the scheduled Fall 2021 MOSOPS data submission.

A pregnant patient was admitted for scheduled Cesarean delivery, before being tested according to a universal inpatient screening protocol for SARS-CoV-2. During surgery, the patient developed a fever and required oxygen supplementation. Due to suspicion for COVID-19, a specimen obtained via nasopharyngeal swab was sent to a commercial laboratory for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

Constellation, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. 

The processes supporting safe and accurate diagnosis involve many steps that are prone to human error. This collaborative will engage teams to explore test result management and follow-up coordination to improve timeliness, collaboration, and communication to support safe care. The launch of the collaborative has been delayed due to COVID-19.
Kostopoulou O, Tracey C, Delaney BC. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:1461-1467.
In addition to being used for patient-specific clinical purposes, data within the electronic health record (EHR) may be used for other purposes including epidemiological research. Researchers in the UK developed and tested a clinical decision support system (CDSS) to evaluate changes in the types and number of observations that primary care physicians entered into the EHR during simulated patient encounters. Physicians documented more clinical observations using the CDSS compared to the standard electronic health record. The increase in documented clinical observations has the potential to improve validity of research developed from EHR data.