Diana Rusz on Engaging Physicians in Diagnostic Process Improvement

On February 11, 2019

Diana Rusz, MPH, Research and Program Manager at the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, discusses how the Society engages physicians in processes to improve diagnostic errors, and what role Member Boards play in supporting physicians’ efforts to improve diagnostic errors.

TRANSCRIPT: The definition of a diagnostic error according to the National Academies of Medicine formerly the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report is (a) the failure to establish an accurate and timely explanation of a patient’s health problem or (b) the failure to communicate that explanation to the patient. Simply put, these are diagnoses that are wrong, delayed, or missed altogether. We know that 90% of the time physicians do get the diagnosis right. However, when they don’t, this accounts for 12 million people affected annually by diagnostic errors. We estimate that forty to eighty thousand annual hospital deaths are due to missed or inaccurate diagnosis.

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine engages physicians in a variety of ways. One is through our annual conference and another is through our ACT for Better Diagnosis campaign. SIDM also partners with organizations with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. SIDM partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to test interventions aimed at reducing harm from diagnostic error. We believe that ABMS Member Boards have an important role to play in supporting clinicians to develop diagnostic skills. That is why we are pleased that ABMS and ABIM have joined our coalition to improve diagnosis.

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