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Learn about the latest efforts to improve diagnostic quality and safety.

In this Section:

Speakers at Jully 11 Capitol Hill

Advocating for Diagnostic Quality and Safety

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) works with world-class experts, engaged patients and dozens of leading healthcare stakeholder organizations to educate policymakers about the need and opportunities to eliminate harms from diagnostic error – by far the leading cause of all health care associated harms in the U.S.

SIDM advocates for steps that lawmakers and regulators can take now – from increasing funding for research to improve diagnostic quality and safety, to developing helpful new quality measures, to moving electronic medical records from a tool that interferes with the physician-patient encounter to one that supports it. We also work with our community to develop solutions that can be applied in the future, such as payment policies that support and incentivize timely and accurate diagnosis.

Agency Comment Letters

A timely and accurate diagnosis is essential to high-value care; if the diagnosis is wrong, all that follows is either harm, or waste, or both. Health information technology can both contribute to and mitigate against diagnostic error. SIDM urged ONC to make diagnostic quality and safety a cornerstone of its 5-year strategic plan. Read More >

Mismatched patient records are all-too common and create enormous risk for diagnostic error. To help address this, SIDM urged regulators to move quickly to adopt a patient identity matching system. Read More >

Payment for a clinician's cognitive work – the thinking and synthesis that go into formulating a working diagnosis – has for years been very low in relation to procedures and other kinds of services. We applauded CMS's decision to begin to change that with increased payment for evaluation and management services. Read More >

US Capitol Building

Policy Roadmap

Read SIDM's policy-oriented white paper, which showcases the vital need for increased research funding devoted to improving diagnosis. The Roadmap highlights specific actions that policymakers and others can take now.

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David Newman-Toker speaking at July 11 event on Capitol Hill

Consensus Statement

SIDM has drafted a Consensus Statement to support increased funding for research to improve diagnostic quality and safety.

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SIDM on Capitol Hill

When and Where Inaccurate or Delayed Diagnoses Happen

Inaccurate or delayed diagnoses are the most catastrophic and costly of medical errors and will affect most of us in our lifetime. In an effort to understand when and where inaccurate or delayed diagnoses happen, SIDM released research quantifying the magnitude of the issue and pinpointing the specific disease categories in which inaccurate or delayed diagnoses are most likely to occur.

On July 11, 2019, experts came together on Capitol Hill to offer insights on what can be done to reduce the impact and highlight Congress’ role in reducing the physical and financial toll that inaccurate and delayed diagnoses take on Americans.

ACT for Better Diagnosis Launch Event

On September 13, 2018, ACT for Better Diagnosis was launched at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. ACT for Better Diagnosis is an initiative of SIDM and the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis.

The initiative aims to improve the diagnostic process by calling on organizations to identify and spread practical steps to better ensure diagnoses are Accurate, Communicated, and Timely.

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Increasing Research Funding for Diagnostic Quality

In June 2018, staffers from more than 50 Congressional offices attended a briefing on Capitol Hill to hear about the human and financial toll of diagnostic error, and opportunities to improve diagnostic safety and quality.

Officially sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) – both highly-respected leaders and long-time champions of healthcare quality and safety – the event spotlighted compelling stories of failure in the diagnostic process and discussed the steps needed to drive improvement.

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Join the Conversation

The SIDM online community provides an opportunity to participate in conversations on the latest research and new efforts to improve diagnosis, access community-built resources, and network with your peers.