Skip to main content

All Content

Search Tips
Save
Selection
Format
Download
Published Date
Original Publication Date
Original Publication Date
PSNet Publication Date
PSNet Original Content
1 - 20 of 21
Clift K, Macklin-Mantia S, Barnhorst M, et al. J Prim Care Community Health. 2022;13:215013192110697.
Knowing a patient’s individual risk factors for developing cancer can assist patients and providers in deciding when to screen for cancers and can prevent both overtreatment and delays in care. This study compared patient-reported family history of cancer in the electronic health record (EHR) and family history collected using a focused questionnaire. Results showed inconsistencies between the two, especially for patients with more complicated family histories.

Katz MJ, Tamma PD, Cosgrove SE, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(2):e220181.

Overuse of antibiotics has been common in nursing homes; therefore, antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) have been emphasized by experts. To assist facilities, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use developed programs and a toolkit to improve the appropriate use of antibiotics. This quality improvement program found that a focused educational initiative to establish ASPs in nursing homes was associated with reduction in antibiotic use in those facilities with high levels of engagement.
Shenoy A, Shenoy GN, Shenoy GG. Patient Saf Surg. 2022;16:10.
Defensive medicine refers to clinician behaviors with the intent to avoid malpractice risk due to care omissions. This article provides an overview of defensive medicine and its relationship to the taxonomies of medical errors and the risks that defensive medicine places on patients, hospital administrators, and systems, as well as clinicians.
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.
Scott IA, Hubbard RE, Crock C, et al. Intern Med J. 2021;51:488-493.
Sound critical thinking skills can help clinicians avoid cognitive biases and diagnostic errors. This article describes three critical thinking skills essential to effective clinical care – clinical reasoning, evidence-informed decision-making, and systems thinking – and approaches to develop these skills during clinician training.
Morgan DJ, Pineles L, Owczarzak J, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181:747-755.
Overdiagnosis is an emerging safety concern due to its potential to result in physical, financial, and emotional harm. Researchers surveyed 533 primary care practitioners (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) and asked them to estimate the probability of disease for common conditions (pneumonia, cardiac ischemia, breast cancer screening, and urinary tract infection) and the association of positive and negative test results with disease probability. Findings indicate that significant overestimation of disease among all participating practitioners – likely due to overestimates of pretest probability – may contribute to overdiagnosis and overuse.

Jørgensen IF, Brunak S. NPJ Digital Med. 2021;4(1):12.

Overdiagnosis is a growing area of concern within patient safety. The authors present a generalizable approach for identifying patients at risk of being mis- or overdiagnosed. Using chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients as an example, the authors outline how to create significant, temporal disease trajectories, and compare similarities between these disease trajectories and individual patient disease histories to identify the cases that may signal overdiagnosis.

Boodman SG. Washington Post. January 23, 2021.

Misdiagnosis can perpetuate over a long period and delay a correct course of treatment. This news feature shares an example of depression misdiagnosis that masked the true problem of a neurological tumor manifesting in what was seen and treated as a psychological condition. 
Ganguli I, Simpkin AL, Lupo C, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2:e1913325.
Cascades of care (or follow up) on incidental findings from diagnostic tests are common but are not always clinically meaningful. This study reports the results of a nationally representative group of physicians who were surveyed on their experiences with cascades. Almost all respondents had experienced cascades and many reported harms to patients and personal frustration and anxiety that may contribute to physician burnout.
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.
Lawton R, Robinson O, Harrison R, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2019;28:382-388.
Risk aversion in clinical practice may lead to the ordering of unnecessary tests and procedures, a form of overuse that may pose harm to patients. Experienced clinicians may be more comfortable with uncertainty and risk than less experienced providers. In this cross-sectional study, researchers surveyed doctors working in three emergency departments to understand their level of experience and used vignettes to characterize their reactions to uncertainty and risk. They found a significant association between more clinical experience and less risk aversion as well as a significant association between more experience and greater ease with uncertainty. The authors caution that they cannot draw conclusions on how these findings impact patient safety. An accompanying editorial suggests that feedback is an important mechanism for improving confidence in clinical decision-making. A WebM&M commentary discussed risks related to overdiagnosis and medical overuse.
Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
Overdiagnosis and the subsequent overuse of medical care contributes to unnecessary financial, psychological, and physical risk to patients. This research collaborative draws from expertise and experience from organizations in Australia investigating the problem of overdiagnosis and testing solutions to prevent medical care overuse.
Kale MS, Korenstein D. BMJ. 2018;362:k2820.
Overdiagnosis has emerged as a quality and safety concern due to its potential to result in financial and emotional harm for patients and their families. This review discusses factors that contribute to overdiagnosis in primary care including financial incentives and innovations in diagnostic technologies. The authors recommend increasing awareness about the negative consequences of unneeded screenings, clarifying the definition of overdiagnosis, and adjusting cultural expectations for testing and treatment as avenues for improvement.
Armstrong N. BMJ Qual Saf. 2018;27:571-575.
Overdiagnosis and overtreatment can result in physical, financial, and emotional harm for patients. This commentary suggests applying quality improvement approaches to address overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Tactics discussed include clear articulation of the problem and contributing factors, use of theory-driven approaches for designing initiatives, and monitoring the impact of improvement efforts.
Aaron SD, Vandemheen KL, FitzGerald M, et al. JAMA. 2017;317:269-279.
Misdiagnosis can contribute to overuse of unnecessary medication and treatments as well as a delay in appropriate treatment, placing patients at increased risk of harm. This prospective cohort study suggests that asthma may be frequently misdiagnosed in the community setting as a result of inadequate testing for airflow limitations. In 2% of the cases analyzed, a serious underlying cardiorespiratory condition was misdiagnosed as asthma.
Jørgensen KJ, Gøtzsche PC, Kalager M, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166:313-323.
The overuse of medical care is increasingly recognized as a patient safety issue. Overdiagnosis can result in unnecessary use of medical care, subjecting patients to greater risk of harm. For example, in the case of breast cancer, screening may detect lesions that are not clinically significant, leading to further testing and unnecessary procedures. This study examined the impact of mammography screening on a cohort of women in Denmark. Researchers found that screening was not associated with decreased incidence of advanced cancer but increased incidence of nonadvanced tumors and ductal carcinoma in situ; the rate of overdiagnosis was significant. An accompanying editorial discusses overdiagnosis in breast cancer.
McCaffery KJ, Jansen J, Scherer LD, et al. BMJ. 2016;352:i348.
Medical care overuse can lead to countless direct and indirect harms. This commentary explores challenges to communicating risks associated with overdiagnosis and overtreatment to consumers and describes strategies including patient decision aids and initiatives like the the Choosing Wisely campaign.
Filice GA, Drekonja DM, Thurn JR, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2015;36:949-56.
Overuse of antibiotics is a major factor in the development of certain types of health care–associated infections. This retrospective study found that unnecessary antibiotic use was often a result of diagnostic error, particularly in patients who were empirically treated for urinary tract infections without clear diagnostic evidence. The results of this study imply that addressing diagnostic uncertainty should be a component of antimicrobial stewardship programs.