Moore Foundation announces historic new initiative on diagnostic excellence
Mark.Graber at IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Thu Nov 1 14:17:17 UTC 2018
Dear listserv members: This is without a doubt the most important announcement that we’ve ever posted.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation funding, announced below, represents the largest investment in “diagnosis” in the history of health care. We are extremely grateful for their support, and there is every reason to believe it will be transformative in advancing the quality and safety of diagnosis worldwide. What better way to jumpstart discussions at our annual Diagnostic Error in Medicine conference (DEM 2018), underway Sunday in New Orleans.
Mark L Graber MD FACP
Senior Fellow, RTI International
Professor Emeritus, Stony Brook University
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The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is launching a new initiative in diagnostic excellence and will invest $85 million during the next six years to improve diagnostic performance in the U.S. The initiative aims to reduce harm from erroneous or delayed diagnoses, reduce costs and redundancy in the diagnostic process, improve health outcomes and save lives.
This initiative responds to a critical need. Diagnostic errors are the most common cause of medical errors reported by patients, accounting for nearly 60 percent of all errors and an estimated 40,000-80,000 deaths per year. The National Academy of Medicine estimates that “nearly every American will experience a diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.”
While much of the early attention and work in this field has been focused on avoiding diagnostic errors and their resulting harms, we advocate for a new emphasis and framing around the concept of diagnostic excellence. Achieving excellence in diagnosis goes beyond avoiding errors and includes consideration of cost, timeliness and patient convenience. Designing an optimal diagnostic process will likely require a careful balancing among competing demands.
We believe this investment in diagnostic excellence is timely. A burgeoning community has attracted new interest in the field. New technologies and artificial intelligence are poised to improve and transform the diagnostic process in important ways. And continuing concern around health care costs are encouraging health care systems to intensify their focus on value and efficiency in both treatment and diagnosis.
We look forward to our continued partnership and working with you to improve the experience and outcomes of patients. News of our Diagnostic Excellence Initiative will be made public tomorrow, Thursday, November 1 at 8:00 a.m. ET. In the meantime, below is additional background on the initiative.
Moore Foundation Diagnostic Excellence Initiative
The foundation will invest $85 million during the next six years to improve diagnostic performance with a focus on three clinical categories – cardiovascular events, infections and cancers. We chose these health conditions as they are responsible for a disproportionate share of serious harm and preventable death because of sub-optimal diagnosis. These conditions are a starting point, and we hope that in the coming years other conditions and categories of diseases will benefit from the work we and our grantees do in this field.
Our primary emphasis is on strengthening accountability for diagnostic excellence by helping to develop and validate new measures for diagnostic performance. We start with this infrastructure because our health care systems are unable to systemically measure diagnostic performance in real time, which limits the ability to quantify performance and guide improvements. As the adage goes, “you can’t improve what you can’t measure.”
In addition, we will look at opportunities to support growth and capacity of the field – preparing leaders dedicated to working on the issue of diagnostic excellence. And, we will assess the potential for new technologies to improve diagnostic performance, working to both minimize barriers for innovation and advocate for the safe and responsible deployment of these technologies.
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