[EXTERNAL] [IMPROVEDX] quick ?

Ross Koppel rkoppel at SAS.UPENN.EDU
Wed Apr 23 22:59:03 UTC 2014


Exactly.    And if we want to think about visits or patients with good 
records that we can access, we may not even know the denominator very well.

Ross Koppel, Ph.D. FACMI
Sociology Dept and Sch. of Medicine
Senior Fellow, LDI, Wharton
University of Pennsylvania, Phila, PA 19104-6299
215 576 8221 C: 215 518 0134

On 4/23/2014 4:54 PM, Ted.E.Palen at kp.org wrote:
> Hi all
> It is very hard if not impossible to know the "true diagnostic error 
> rate."  That is because we will never know the true numerator. 
> Patients are lost to follow-up, do not report back if symptoms resolve 
> but the original diagnosis was wrong, or signs and symptoms persist 
> and present as different diagnosis and if they see a different 
> physician without prior information may never know a previous 
> diagnosis was made.  Therefore, we will never know the true number of 
> diagnostic errors.
>
> *Ted E. Palen, PhD MD, MSPH* | *Physician Investigator* | *Institute 
> for Health Research* | *Kaiser Permanente Colorado*
> *Physician Manager for Clinical Reporting | Medical Cost Management| 
> Colorado Permanente Medical Group*
> (303-614-1215 | 7303-614-1305 | *ted.e.palen at kp.org 
> <mailto:sarah.madrid at kp.org>
>
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> From: Ross Koppel <rkoppel at SAS.UPENN.EDU>
> To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
> Date: 04/23/2014 01:04 PM
> Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] [EXTERNAL] [IMPROVEDX] quick ?
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
> First, I want to second Mark's comment.  It very much depends on the
> methodology used.  Hardeep's methodology (as all methods) is limited to
> the parameters he used (charts, return visits, etc).  While fine
> research (he's one of my heroes), it cannot be representative of the
> larger error rate, which would have to reflect the conditions that were
> unknown and did not appear in charts or in subsequent revisits or
> re-admits. I don't know what that ratio is, but it's non-trivial.  Very
> non-trivial.  Then, of course, as has been argued here, there's the
> definition of Dx error.  If it's delayed to the point that something
> could have been done but was not, that's different than if it took a few
> years but made no difference.
>
> Ross
>
> Ross Koppel, Ph.D. FACMI
> Sociology Dept and Sch. of Medicine
> Senior Fellow, LDI, Wharton
> University of Pennsylvania, Phila, PA 19104-6299
> 215 576 8221 C: 215 518 0134
>
> On 4/23/2014 1:32 PM, Graber, Mark wrote:
> > Stephen,
> >
> > We (I) believe the risk of diagnostic error in general medical 
> settings in the US is in the range of 10 - 15%  (Graber.  The 
> Incidence of Diagnostic Error in Medicine;  BMJ Qual Saf 
> 2013;22:ii21-ii27. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2012-001615).  That's all errors, 
> most of which (thankfully) are inconsequential or caught.  The risk of 
> harm is clearly much less and its hard to put a number on that.
> >
> > The news stories centered on Hardeep's recent article  ( The 
> frequency of diagnostic errors in outpatient care: estimations from 
> three large observational studies
> > involving US adult populations.  Singh H, et al. BMJ Qual Saf 
> 2014;0:1-5. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2013-002627) where they identified a 
> risk of approximately 5% from chart reviews in primary care clinics. 
>  That number is in the 10-15% ballpark, given that the approach would 
> have missed errors that weren't obvious from the medical record, and 
> errors for which the consequences played out elsewhere, and other 
> methodologic issues.
> >
> > All of these numbers are based on research approaches.  So far, 
> there aren't any healthcare organizations I know of that are measuring 
> error rates in real time, and the challenges of actually doing this 
> are substantial.  We have little data on the error rate for surgical 
> patients, or patients seen in the ER.  There is a great need for 
> research on this question, and for finding reliable and reproducible 
> ways to find and count these errors going forward.  You can't improve 
> what you can't measure.
> >
> > Mark
> >
> > Mark L Graber, MD FACP
> > Senior Fellow, RTI International
> > Professor Emeritus, SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine
> > Founder and President, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine
> > Phone:   919 990-8497
> >
>
>
>
>
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