In Search of a Common Definition of Dx Error

Ruth Ryan ruthryan at COX.NET
Thu May 5 19:23:22 UTC 2016

To all,  


Allow me to pick the finest brains on this topic.  Should SIDM adopt one of
these definitions below, or craft a combination of these elements?  How
would you define it?





Source or Citation


Mark Graber

Diagnostic errors in medicine: a case of neglect. Jt Comm J Qual Patient
Saf. 2005.


Graber ML, Franklin N, Gordon R. Diagnostic error in internal medicine. Arch
Intern Med. 2005

Medical diagnoses that are wrong, missed, or delayed. 


A diagnosis that was unintentionally delayed (sufficient information was
available earlier), wrong (another diagnosis was made before the correct
one), or missed (no diagnosis was ever made), as judged from the eventual
appreciation of more definitive information.


Hardeep Singh


Helping healthcare organizations to define diagnostic errors as
opportunities in diagnosis. Jt Comm J Patient Safety, 2014.


A breakdown in the diagnostic process and a missed opportunity to have made
the diagnosis more accurately or more efficiently.regardless of whether
there was patient harm.

Gordon Schiff et al

Schiff GD, Hasan O, Kim S, Abrams R, Cosby K, Lambert BL, et al. Diagnostic
Error in Medicine: Analysis of 583 Physician-Reported Errors. Arch Intern
Med. 2009

Any mistake or failure in the diagnostic process leading to a misdiagnosis,
a missed diagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis. This could include any failure
in timely access to care; elicitation or interpretation of symptoms, signs,
or laboratory results; formulation and weighing of differential diagnosis;
and timely follow-up and specialty referral or evaluation.


Institute of Medicine

Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, 2015 report Institute of Medicine (IOM)

The failure to establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient's
health problem(s) or to communicate that explanation to the patient.





Fill in the blank








Medical writer

Risk management/patient safety

Continuing medical education

Telephone (504) 256-8797

Email ruthryan at <mailto:ruthryan at> 



Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine

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