No real change in DX error over 9 years

Ross Koppel rkoppel at SAS.UPENN.EDU
Fri Dec 5 13:40:13 UTC 2014

The problem with that question is that very few lay people can answer it 
with any degree of accuracy.

Some will say a screening mammogram -- where the follow up biopsy was 
shown to be benign -- was a Dx error.  Most won't know of the diagnostic 


PS: I'm a sociologist and teach survey methods for a living.

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 12/4/2014 1:58 PM, Jason Maude wrote:
> No doubt you’ve seen the survey of medical error in MA carried out by 
> the Betsey Lehman Center which was published a few days ago.
> Sadly the results show very little change over the last 9 years!
> Our founding charity carried out a similar survey on a national basis 
> back in 2005 and the results were similar.
>   * *Percentage of people who say they had experienced a medical
>     mistake*: In the 2005 Isabel Medical Charity survey it was 35%
>     compared to 23% in the 2014 Betsy Lehman Center survey. This looks
>     better but the 2005 question was whether '/you or someone you
>     know'/experienced a medical mistake whereas in 2014 the question
>     was about being '/personally involved’ /and also the Lehman
>     question asked about ‘/preventable’ /mistakes rather than just a
>     medical mistake. I am not sure how many patients would know
>     whether it had been preventable or not. I would argue that the
>     different wording would get a significantly smaller number.
>   * *Percentage of those mistakes that were misdiagnosis*:  In 2005
>     the figure was 50% but has risen slightly to 51% in the Lehman survey.
> This means that in 2005 17.5% of the adult population in the USA had 
> directly experienced or knew somebody who had experienced a diagnostic 
> error whereas in 2014 11.7% of the adult population in MA had 
> personally experienced a preventable diagnostic error.
> Not much to cheer about there!
> Regards
> Jason
> Jason Maude
> Founder and CEO Isabel Healthcare
> Tel: +44 1428 644886
> Tel: +1 703 879 1890
> <>

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