In the News

Diagnostic errors rampant, doctors soliciting donations, Laura Esserman, MD: Champion for the right care

In order to bring you more of the news you want to read, RightCare Weekly summarizes and interprets three important articles and provides headlines linking to the many other articles and editorials you’ll find interesting. As always, RightCare Weekly presents articles related to moving our healthcare system toward the right care for all patients.

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A new patient safety report, part of the Quality Chasm series by the Institute of Medicine, finds that nearly every American, at least once in his or her life, will receive a diagnosis that is wrong or late. These errors could be the result of a number of causes, Lena H. Sun of The Washington Post explains, including poor communication between clinicians, patients, and their families, a lack of feedback provided to clinicians on the accuracy of their diagnoses, a lack of transparency in healthcare, and a culture that frowns on disclosure of errors. Though the authors did not emphasize excessive testing, this is also a cause of misdiagnosis that leads to both over- and underuse. The authors of the report are clear that this is not a problem of individual physicians making mistakes; “Often [a diagnostic error] happens because of errors in the health care system. Fixing the problem will require nothing short of a fundamental overhaul of the entire process.” Despite significant challenges in measuring and preventing diagnostic errors, the report identifies a way forward. Authors suggest that healthcare organizations implement better systems to catch diagnostic errors and near misses and that they establish space for open discussion.

Lown Institute

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