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Diagnostic error remains a pervasive, underappreciated problem, US report says

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 22 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5064
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Diagnostic errors contribute to approximately 10% of patient deaths and to as many as 17% of hospital adverse events, yet have remained largely ignored in recent quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, a new report from the US Institute of Medicine has found.

The report, which was released on 22 September, said, “Without a dedicated focus on improving diagnosis, these errors will likely worsen as the delivery of healthcare and the diagnostic process continue to increase in complexity.”1

The panel recommended eight steps for reducing diagnostic errors including: improving teamwork and …

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