WASHINGTON, June 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On Friday, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), and U.S. Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), and Kim Schrier (D-WA) introduced legislation, the Improving Diagnosis in Medicine Act of 2022 (H.R.8172/S.4468) to focus federal health agencies on tackling the root causes of diagnostic error. Missed and delayed diagnoses are major patient safety risks that affect more than 12 million Americans each year, contribute more than $100 billion in waste to the system, and likely cause more harm than all other health care errors combined.
The legislation takes a cue from a National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, (https://nap.nationalacademies.org/catalog/21794/improving-diagnosis-in-health-care) that discusses the many factors that can derail accurate diagnosis in practice and highlights areas in crucial need of increased research to develop more reliable systems that better support clinicians and patients in the diagnostic process. To that end, the bill would fund a new program at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality aimed at increasing researchers’ capacity to develop and test solutions to improve diagnostic quality and safety, including a network of Research Centers of Diagnostic Excellence at academic medical centers and health care organizations to foster multidisciplinary collaboration and shorten the research-to-practice pipeline.
The bill would also establish an interagency council to include the NIH, the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT, the VA, CDC, CMS and other agencies whose missions touch on key diagnosis-related priorities to find synergies that can propel the research and practice improvement forward. This includes collaborating on the collection and parsing of many types of data needed to take advantage of the power of electronic medical records and HIT systems to improve diagnosis. And it calls on the NAM to fill a significant gap in existing research with a study and recommendations to address disparities in diagnostic safety and quality.
Jennie Ward-Robinson, Ph.D, CEO of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) praised the legislation. "Diagnostic error is the most common, the most costly, and the most catastrophic of serious medical errors. Much of the research to date has focused on defining the magnitude of the problem. This legislation moves us toward identifying solutions to equip clinicians, patients and their families with the tools needed to arrive at the right diagnosis timely. It will save lives. We commend Sens. Van Hollen and Lujan, and Reps. Beyer and Schrier for their leadership and willingness to take on difficult healthcare issues that others often overlook. We look forward to this bill moving through the legislative process and into law."
To learn more about the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and its efforts to increase diagnostic quality and safety, visit www.ImproveDiagnosis.org.
The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine catalyzes and leads change to improve diagnosis and eliminate harm from diagnostic error. We work in partnership with patients, their families, the healthcare community and every interested stakeholder. SIDM is the only organization focused solely on the problem of diagnostic error and improving the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis. In 2015, SIDM established the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis to increase awareness and actions that improve diagnosis. Members of the Coalition represent hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and patients—and the leading health organizations and agencies involved in patient care. Together, we work to find solutions that enhance diagnostic safety and quality, reduce harm, and ultimately, ensure better health outcomes for patients. Visit www.ImproveDiagnosis.org to learn more.
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SOURCE The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)