OECD Report: The Economics of Patient Safety

HM Epstein hmepstein at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 13 07:10:03 UTC 2017

I share your sense of urgency, Mark. I'm still amazed when major reports, studies or books look at the universe of American healthcare or even patient safety, and ignore diagnostic error. I'm currently reading NY Times bestseller "An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business" by Elisabeth Rosenthal. It's a well-written book, very comprehensive, about the cost of healthcare, how we got here and how to extricate ourselves. She does cover a few stats and stories of errors, but never refers to the potential costs of Dx error as a significant culprit. Since estimates of the costs of Dx error are currently speculative - especially with a lack of uniform agreement of a definition of the phrase Dx error - I understand why "An American Sickness" skips it. 

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On Jun 8, 2017, at 8:12 PM, Mark Graber <Mark.Graber at IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG> wrote:

This is an important new report from the OECD on the financial costs of adverse safety events, with data from a wide range of countries.  As you might expect, these costs are substantial, and the report makes the key point that preventing these events would cost a lot less than paying for their consequences. 
Diagnostic error is repeatedly emphasized as a major, under-addressed problem, but there are no data cited on the costs of diagnostic error specifically.  We really need some research on this.
Mark L Graber MD FACP
President, SIDM
Senior Fellow, RTI International
Professor Emeritus, Stony Brook University 

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