Measures of diagnostic accuracy and timeliness

Barnard, Cindy CBarnard at NMH.ORG
Sun Jul 20 16:25:36 UTC 2014

Our Patient Family Advisory Council has asked that we develop or adopt some form of measurement of diagnostic accuracy and timeliness.  We have discussed with them the early stage of research and thinking on this topic, and they understand this, yet are urging focused action.

We have the obvious 'defect' measures - e.g. individual instances in which we identify an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis based on patient/clinician report or even autopsy, or rates of error or delay identified through systematic over-read of imaging, anatomic pathology, and other studies.

What we do not have is a systematic assessment of accurate and timely diagnosis in any population of patients.

What are measures in place in other organizations, and/or what measures should we be working to develop - balancing the undeniable importance of this topic with the impossibility of doing comprehensive routine medical record reviews - ?

Have you identified validated sampling approaches?  Trigger tools? EMR logic which would do initial case finding for subsequent record review?  Any actual metrics?

Cindy Barnard

Cynthia Barnard
Director, Quality Strategies

Northwestern Memorial Hospital
211 E Ontario #1550
Chicago IL 60611
312.926.4822 office
312.695.7953 pager
312.926.9879 fax
cbarnard at

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