40+ healthcare groups form coalition to improve accuracy, speed of medical diagnoses

More than 40 healthcare and patient advocacy organizations created the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis to improve diagnostic processes.

Here are four things to know:

1. Every year, diagnostic errors affect 12 million adults in outpatient settings and contribute to 80,000 deaths in U.S. hospitals.

2. The Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, created by The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, includes leaders from Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, ECRI Institute and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other organizations.

3. The coalition will work to identify and share practical steps healthcare stakeholders can take to ensure proper diagnoses. The effort coincides with SIDM's ACT for Better Diagnosis initiative, which calls on organizations to identify strategies to better ensure diagnostic accuracy and, if errors arise, communicate them in a timely manner.  

4. The Coalition to Improve Diagnosis found diagnostics errors are rooted in the following causes:

  • Incomplete communication during care transitions
  • Lack of measures and feedback
  • Limited support to help with clinical reasoning
  • Limited time with patients and healthcare providers
  • Limited information available to patients
  • Lack of research funding

"Providing an accurate medical diagnosis is complex and involves uncertainty, but it’s obviously essential to effective and timely treatment," said Paul L. Epner, CEO and co-founder of SIDM, in a news release. "Nearly everyone will receive an inaccurate diagnosis at some point in their life and for some, the consequences will be grave. Major improvement is needed to systematically identify how to improve diagnostic quality and reduce harm to patients."

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