Authors of a landmark report [download the report here!] find that little progress has been made in reducing diagnostic errors in the 15 years since the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) report To Err is Human: Building A Safer Health System revealed dramatic lapses in patient safety.
Consequently, authors conclude in the new report released today that, “most people will experience at least one diagnostic error (inaccurate or delayed diagnosis) in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.”
The report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, from the IOM, a division of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), cited these statistics among the impetus for urgent action:
- 5% of US adults who seek outpatient care each year experience a diagnostic error.
- Diagnostic errors contribute to approximately 10% of patient deaths.
- Diagnostic errors account for 6% to 17% of hospital adverse events.
- Diagnostic errors are the leading type of paid medical malpractice claims, and are almost twice as likely to have resulted in the patient’s death compared with other claims.
This report is part of the IOM’s Quality Chasm Series, which includes reports such as To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System, Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, and Preventing Medication Errors.
The report was authored by Erin P. Balogh, MPH, a program officer for the IOM Board on Health Care Services and the National Cancer Policy Forum; Bryan Miller, PhD, a research associate for the IOM Board on Health Care Services; and John R. Ball, MD, JD, Executive Vice President Emeritus, American College of Physicians, Asheville, North Carolina.
Read the full report here.