The strengthening of diagnostic error research and processes can strategically ensure lasting diagnostic improvement. The ‘‘Improving Diagnosis in Medicine Act of 2020’’ outlines characteristics of a proposed Federal program to enhance agency cooperation and coordination to improve diagnosis in health care by addressing systemic weaknesses, knowledge gaps, and training issues in the workforce.
As COVID-19 spreads globally, there is growing interest in methods for rapid diagnosis and the risk of diagnostic error. Delayed diagnosis of COVID-19 may lead to worse patient outcomes and increased exposure of healthy individuals to the novel coronavirus. Two early studies suggested that chest CT may have a sensitivity as high as 97%. However, higher quality studies have shown that the sensitivity of chest CT is only 67-93% among patients with viral pneumonia and imaging features must be interpreted with caution when the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection is low. Based on the risks of misdiagnosis and viral transmission, the American College of Radiology recommends that CT should not be used to screen for or as a first-line test to diagnose COVID-19. CT should be reserved for hospitalized, symptomatic patients with specific clinical indications.
Radiology ES of, Societies EF of R. Insights Imaging. 2019;10:45.
Numerous factors affect safe imaging practice, including potential harms associated with radiation, staffing demands, and patient physical and psychological well-being. This policy statement provides multidisciplinary insights on safety themes in radiology that go beyond the core concern of inappropriate radiation exposure. The authors recommend tactics to reduce the risks related to data protection, service environment, teamwork, burnout, and training.
Nakhleh RE, Nosé V, Colasacco C, et al. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016;140:29-40.
Misinterpretation of test results can have harmful consequences for patients. This guideline synthesized the literature on surgical pathology and cytology case reviews to determine recommendations to improve diagnostic accuracy, such as involving anatomic pathologists in developing procedures to detect disagreements and errors, conducting case reviews in a timely fashion, and continuously tracking and documenting case review findings.
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