Death within 7 days of an ER visit

Mark Graber mark.graber at IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Wed Feb 1 16:12:52 UTC 2017

Congratulations and thanks to Ziad Obermeyer and colleagues at Harvard on this new study on how likely a Medicare patient is to die within 7 days of a visit to the Emergency Department.  

The authors caution that "These data should not be viewed as evidence of error".  Granted that some fraction of these deaths were either coincidental or the result of some intercurrent problem, one wonders if there might have been clues that were missed at the ED visit in other cases.  

Viewed from the opposite perspective, the data could also be interpreted as evidence of the high quality of care rendered in US emergency departments:  Discharge from the ED yielded a 99.9% correct assessment that you'd live at least another week.  It would be interesting to know what that figure would be in other countries, or say 30 years ago.  

Mark L Graber, MD FACP
President, SIDM
Senior Fellow, RTI International
Professor Emeritus, Stony Brook University, NY


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

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