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Meyer AND, Giardina TD, Khawaja L, et al. Patient Educ Couns. 2021;104:2606-2615.
Diagnostic uncertainty can lead to misdiagnosis and delayed treatment. This article provides an overview of the literature on diagnosis-related uncertainty, where uncertainty occurs in the diagnostic process and outlines recommendations for managing diagnostic uncertainty.
Griffin JA, Carr K, Bersani K, et al. Diagnosis (Berl). 2022;9:77-88.
Diagnostic errors in the acute care setting can result in increased morbidity and mortality. Using the Diagnostic Error Evaluation and Research (DEER) taxonomy, researchers reviewed 16 records of patients whose deaths were associated with at least one medical error. Most (81.3%) patients had at least one diagnostic error and a total of 113 failure points and 30 significant failure points.
Pinnock R, Ritchie D, Gallagher S, et al. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2021;26:785-809.
Cognition is a recognized human factor that can contribute to medical error. This systematic review explored whether mindful practice can improve diagnosis in healthcare. Of the 33 included studies, the majority were non-empirical; however, the authors tentatively conclude that mindful practice may be a promising method to improve diagnostic accuracy and reduce error.

Graber ML, Schrandt S. Evanston, IL:  Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine;  September 8, 2021. 

This report summarizes the results of a project that examined how the literature and various stakeholders consider challenges and opportunities for improving diagnosis during telemedicine interactions. Both areas of concern and potential were highlighted to engage researchers, educators, and clinicians in the implementation and use of telediagnosis that is safe and of high-value for patients and families.

Bajaj K, de Roche A, Goffman D. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2021. AHRQ Publication No. 20(21)-0040-6-EF.

Maternal safety is threatened by systemic biases, care complexities, and diagnostic issues. This issue brief explores the role of diagnostic error in maternal morbidity and mortality, the preventability of common problems such as maternal hemorrhage, and the importance of multidisciplinary efforts to realize improvement. The brief focuses on events occurring during childbirth and up to a week postpartum.
Fernández‐Aguilar C, Martín‐Martín JJ, Minué Lorenzo S, et al. J Eval Clin Pract. 2022;28:135-141.
Heuristics, or the use of mental shortcuts based on experience or trial and error that allow clinicians to quickly assess or diagnose a problem, can sometimes result in misdiagnosis. Three types of heuristics are explored in this study of primary care diagnostic error: representativeness, availability, and overconfidence. While a diagnostic error was identified in nearly 10% of cases, there was no significant correlation between the use of heuristics and diagnostic error.
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.
Dave N, Bui S, Morgan C, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:297-307.
This systematic review provides an update to McDonald et al’s 2013 review of strategies to reduce diagnostic error.  Technique (e.g., changes in equipment) and technology-based (e.g. trigger tools) interventions were the most studied intervention types. Future research on educational and personnel changes would be useful to determine the value of these types of interventions.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2021.

Misdiagnosis of severe cardiovascular events is a primary concern to the diagnostic safety community due to its prevalence and potential for harm. This report summarizes a session discussion on the existing evidence base on improving diagnosis for these conditions and explore opportunities for improvement.
Fernandez Branson C, Williams M, Chan TM, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021;30:1002-1009.
Receiving feedback from colleagues may improve clinicians’ diagnostic reasoning skills. By building on existing models such as Safer Dx, and collaborating with professionals outside of the healthcare field, researchers developed the Diagnosis Learning Cycle, a model intended to improve diagnosis through peer feedback.
Urquhart A, Yardley S, Thomas E, et al. J R Soc Med. 2021;114:563-574.
This mixed-methods study analyzed patient safety incident reports between 2005-2015 to characterize the most frequently reported incidents resulting in severe harm or death in acute medical units. Of the 377 included reports, diagnostic errors, medication-related errors, and failure to monitor patient incidents were most common. Patients were at highest risk during handoffs and transitions of care. Lack of active decision-making during admission and communication failures were the most common contributors to incidents.
Miller-Kleinhenz JM, Collin LJ, Seidel R, et al. J Am Coll Radiol. 2021;18:1384-1393.
Delayed diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can lead to poor outcomes. Based on multi-year data from one health system, the authors of this cohort study found that black women with screen-detected breast cancers were more likely than white women to experience diagnostic delays, including delays in diagnostic evaluation and biopsy. The delay in diagnosis was also associated with an increase in breast cancer mortality.
Alexander RG, Yazdanie F, Waite S, et al. Front Neurosci. 2021;15:629469.
Incorrect interpretation of radiologic images can result in delayed diagnosis or unneeded additional tests and treatment. This commentary describes the visual illusions radiologists use in detecting and categorizing abnormalities, and recommends further research into the ways visual illusions are used in order to improve diagnostic safety.
Bulliard J‐L, Beau A‐B, Njor S, et al. Int J Cancer. 2021;149:846-853.
Overdiagnosis of breast cancer and the resulting overtreatment can cause physical, emotional, and financial harm to patients. Analysis of observational data and modelling indicates overdiagnosis accounts for less than 10% of invasive breast cancer in patients aged 50-69. Understanding rates of overdiagnosis can assist in ascertaining the net benefit of breast cancer screening.
Dahm MR, Williams M, Crock C. Patient Educ Couns. 2022;105:252-256.
Cognitive biases and poor communication among providers can lead to diagnostic errors. This commentary presents the links between biases, provider communication, and diagnostic error, and proposes how patient engagement and health communication research can improve the diagnostic process.

Houston, TX:  Baylor College of Medicine.

This Center represents a partnership with the Veterans Affairs Health Services Research & Development Center of Innovation to enhance researchers' skills through active participation in diagnostic safety research and policy development. The goals of the program include a focus on behavioral health interventions and measurement.
Wong CW, Tafuro J, Azam Z, et al. J Cardiac Failure. 2021;27:925-933.
Misdiagnosis of cardiovascular conditions can lead to serious patient harm. This systematic review explored misdiagnosis of heart failure. Based on 10 included studies, the rate of heart failure misdiagnosis ranged from 16.1% (in an inpatient setting) to 68.5% (when general practitioners referred patients to specialists). Included studies found that heart failure is frequently misdiagnosed as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Oberlander T, Scholle SH, Marsteller JA, et al. J Healthc Qual. 2021;43:324-339.
The goal of the patient centered medical home (PCMH)  model is to reorganize primary care to provide team-based, coordinated, accessible health care. This study used a consensus process with input from a physician panel to examine ambulatory patient safety concerns (e.g., medication safety, diagnostic error, treatment delays, communication or coordination errors) in the context of the PCMH model and explore variability in the implementation of patient safety practices.
Nikouline A, Quirion A, Jung JJ, et al. CJEM. 2021;23:537–546.
Trauma resuscitation is a complex, specialized care process with a high risk for errors. This systematic review identified 39 unique errors occurring in trauma resuscitation involving emergency medical services (EMS) handover; airway management; inadequate assessment and/or management of injuries; inadequate monitoring, transfusion/blood-related errors; team communication errors; procedure-related errors; or errors in disposition.

Patel J, Otto E, Taylor JS, et al. Dermatol Online J. 2021;27(3).

In an update to their 2010 article, this review’s authors summarized the patient safety literature in dermatology from 2009 to 2020. In addition to topics covered in the 2010 article, this article also includes diagnostic errors related to telemedicine, laser safety, scope of practice, and infections such as COVID-19. The authors recommend further studies, and reports are needed to reduce errors and improve patient safety.