Narrow Results Clear All
Search results for ""
Journal Article > Study
Schiff GD, Hasan O, Kim S, et al. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:1881-1887.
Diagnostic errors are a known cause of preventable adverse events, and while safety prevention efforts have traditionally focused more in other areas, this may be the new frontier. This study analyzed 583 self-reported diagnostic errors and found that 69% were rated as moderate or major. The most common missed or delayed diagnoses were pulmonary embolism and drug reactions or overdose, with the errors occurring most frequently in the testing phase (eg, failure to order, report, and follow up on results). The authors developed a comprehensive taxonomy tool as a method to aggregate cases by diagnosis and error types, which assisted in identifying future prevention strategies. An invited commentary [see link below] by a leader in the patient safety field, Dr. Robert Wachter, discusses the importance of this study's findings while reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of the landmark IOM report. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary and perspective also discussed diagnostic errors.
Journal Article > Study
The frequency of diagnostic errors in outpatient care: estimations from three large observational studies involving US adult populations.
Singh H, Meyer AND, Thomas EJ. BMJ Qual Saf. 2014;23:727-731.
Diagnostic errors are increasingly recognized as a major source of preventable patient harm. Researchers compiled several studies to estimate the frequency of these errors in outpatient care across the United States. Two studies used a trigger approach to review unusual patterns of return visits in primary care and one study included consecutive lung cancer cases. From these data, the authors determined that approximately 5% of adults in the US, or more than 12 million individuals, experience a diagnostic error in the outpatient setting every year. This is the first study to evaluate the frequency of ambulatory diagnostic errors, and the results underscore the importance of efforts to improve diagnosis by addressing cognitive and systems vulnerabilities. A recent AHRQ WebM&M commentary describes a delayed diagnosis in outpatient care.
Boston, MA: Harvard School of Public Health; December 2014.
This statewide public telephone survey in Massachusetts found that more than 20% of respondents experienced a medical error in the prior 5 years, and more than half of these incidents resulted in harm. Prior patient surveys have brought to light previously unrecognized safety problems, although discrepancies have been shown to exist between patient reports and other methods for detecting adverse events. Most respondents attributed adverse events to individual physicians and nurses rather than health systems, underscoring the challenge of conveying blame-free culture and systems approaches to the public. Diagnostic errors were the most common type of error reported. About half of patients who experienced medical errors reported the incident to a clinician, hospital, or official agency. Most patients did not look for safety or quality information in choosing a physician or hospital, and only a third of respondents view patient safety as a serious problem for the state. Importantly, prior to being given an explanation, less than half of respondents understood the term "medical error." These findings emphasize the divide between the high prevalence of safety hazards and the lack of public awareness of patient safety efforts and policy.