It’s been a busy summer here at AHRQ, but we’re kicking off the fall with the AHRQ Research Summit on Improving Diagnosis in Health Care on September 28.
A correct diagnosis is the cornerstone of effective medical treatment. Yet, it remains common to learn of friends or family who’ve seen multiple specialists before receiving the right diagnosis. Estimates suggest that many of us will at some point experience a diagnosis that is delayed, missed, or wrong. Diagnostic error is a symptom of a health care delivery system that has not yet developed an organized approach to ensure that all of the relevant information and necessary clinical decision support is reliably available to and used by a skilled set of providers working in partnership with patients on the front lines of care.
Diagnostic errors magnify the pain of those seeking care. They are also costly to the health care system, and their emotional toll can be devastating to patients, their families, and clinicians who are doing their best to provide quality care, but are thwarted by flawed systems. These factors and others have led AHRQ to assemble a stellar panel of experts to develop a research agenda to accelerate our efforts to improve diagnostic safety.
The National Academies of Medicine report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, outlined steps for AHRQ, HHS, and others for moving the field forward. AHRQ’s summit will explore progress already made and issues that need tackling most.
I’m delighted that Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine, will join me in welcoming summit attendees while providing his thoughts on the challenges of improving diagnosis in health care. Afterwards, we’ll hear several experts share what they’ve learned about efforts to improve diagnosis. Subsequent break-out sessions will address three important topics: data and measurement about diagnosis and the diagnostic process that are available or needed, the role of health information technology in improving diagnostic safety, and the impact of organizational factors on diagnostic safety.
All of us agree that creating a safer health care system is a national priority. We are excited to host this summit, which we expect to add significant momentum to patient safety efforts and further position diagnostic safety as an essential element of improving patient care.
Please join us at the AHRQ Research Summit on Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, either in-person at our conference space in Rockville, MD, or via WebEx. Or, follow our Twitter feed, which will use the hashtag #AHRQImproveDx. Regardless of how you join, we hope you will participate and became part of AHRQ’s ongoing efforts to make a safer health care system.
I’ll look forward to sharing further thoughts on the topic after AHRQ’s summit!
This article was originally published on AHRQ Views Blog and is republished here with permission.