Improving Diagnostic Safety


Diagnostic error is a significant and under-recognized threat to patient safety. AHRQ is funding research to better understand how these errors happen and what can be done to prevent them.

AHRQ is the lead Federal agency investing in research to improve diagnostic safety.  According to the AHRQ-sponsored report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2015, most patients will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime. These errors occur in all settings of care, contribute to about 10 percent of patient deaths, and are the primary reason for medical liability claims.

Since 2007, AHRQ has invested in research to discover findings that advance the knowledge of diagnostic safety and to develop practical tools and resources to improve diagnostic safety.

Tools to Improve Diagnostic Safety

Access tools and other materials that clinicians and patients can use to improve diagnostic safety.

Funding Announcements Related to Diagnostic Errors

Find out what funding is available to investigate diagnostic safety.

Resources Related to Diagnostic Errors

Learn more about diagnostic safety and what can be done to improve it.

Page last reviewed December 2017
Page originally created March 2016
Internet Citation: Improving Diagnostic Safety. Content last reviewed December 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/diagnostic-safety/index.html