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Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters.
Results1 to 25 of 473 Research Studies Displayed
Doty AM, Rising KL, Hsiao T
"Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you": how resident physicians communicate diagnostic uncertainty to patients during emergency department discharge.
This study’s objective was to describe how emergency medicine resident physicians discuss diagnostic uncertainty during a simulated emergency department (ED) discharge discussion. Most residents in the simulation explained the evaluation revealed no cause for symptoms, noted concerning diagnoses that were excluded, and acknowledged both symptoms and patients’ feelings. However, 28% of residents did not discuss diagnostic uncertainty in any form. All residents were reassuring. Those who did discuss diagnostic uncertainty used explicit and implicit language with similar frequency.
Citation: Doty AM, Rising KL, Hsiao T . "Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you": how resident physicians communicate diagnostic uncertainty to patients during emergency department discharge. Patient Educ Couns 2022 Jul;105(7):2053-57. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2021.12.002..
Keywords: Clinician-Patient Communication, Emergency Department, Communication, Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Woods-Hill CZ, Colantuoni EA, Koontz DW
Association of diagnostic stewardship for blood cultures in critically ill children with culture rates, antibiotic use, and patient outcomes: results of the Bright STAR Collaborative.
The purpose of this AHRQ-funded prospective study was to assess the relationship between a 14-site PICU blood culture collaborative, the Bright STAR (Testing Stewardship for Antibiotic Reduction) collaborative, and culture rates, antibiotic use, and patient outcomes. The researchers collected data from each participating PICU across the United States and from the Children’s Hospital Association Pediatric Health Information System. The main outcome was blood culture rates, with secondary outcomes including: broad-spectrum antibiotic use and PICU rates of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), Clostridioides difficile infection, readmission, length of stay, sepsis, severe sepsis/septic shock, and mortality. The study found that the blood culture rate preimplementation across the 14 PICUs was 149.4 per 1000 patient days per month, and the rate postimplementation was 100.5 for a 33% relative reduction postimplementation. For those same periods, the rate of antibiotic use decreased from 506 days per 1000 patient-days per month preimplementation to 440 days per 1000 patient-days per month postimplementation, which reflects a 13% relative reduction. Rates of CLABSI decreased from 1.8 to 1.1 per 1000 central venous line days per month, a 36% relative reduction. The variables of length of stay, readmission, sepsis, severe sepsis/septic shock, and mortality were similar before and after implementation. The researchers concluded that collaborative interventions can reduce blood culture and antibiotic use in the PICU.
Citation: Woods-Hill CZ, Colantuoni EA, Koontz DW . Association of diagnostic stewardship for blood cultures in critically ill children with culture rates, antibiotic use, and patient outcomes: results of the Bright STAR Collaborative. JAMA Pediatr 2022 Jul;176(7):690-98. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.1024..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Sepsis, Critical Care, Antibiotics, Medication, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Antimicrobial Stewardship
Nelson KE, Chakravarti V, Diskin C
Validation of neurologic impairment diagnosis codes as signifying documented functional impairment in hospitalized children.
This study’s objective was to assess the performance of previously published high-intensity neurologic impairment (NI) diagnosis codes in identification of hospitalized children with clinical NI. This retrospective study of 500 randomly selected discharges in 2019 was conducted at a freestanding children’s hospital. Charts were reviewed for: 1) NI discharge diagnosis codes and 2) documentation of clinical NI (a neurologic diagnosis and indication of functional impairment like medical technology). Diagnosis codes identified clinically documented NI with 88.1% specificity, and 79.4% sensitivity; negative predictive value (NPV) was 96.7%, and positive predictive value (PPV) was 49%. Including children with milder functional impaired results in NPV of 95.7% and PPV of 77.5%. Restriction to children with more severe functional impairment increased NPV and decreased PPV. Misclassification was mostly due to inclusion of children without functional impairments.
Citation: Nelson KE, Chakravarti V, Diskin C . Validation of neurologic impairment diagnosis codes as signifying documented functional impairment in hospitalized children. Acad Pediatr 2022 Jul;22(5):782-88. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.07.014..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Neurological Disorders, Diagnostic Safety and Quality
McCarthy DM, Formella KT, Ou EZ
There's an app for that: teaching residents to communicate diagnostic uncertainty through a mobile gaming application.
The purpose of this study was to improve doctor-patient communication by assessing the utilization of a mobile application (app) for teaching physician communication skills about diagnostic uncertainty, obtaining feedback on app utilization, and evaluating the association between app use and mastery of skills. Emergency medicine resident physicians were randomized to receive immediate or delayed access to an educational curriculum focused on diagnostic uncertainty which included a web-based interactive model and an app. Only 31.2% of the 109 participants used the app, with senior residents more likely to use the app than junior residents. Researchers report that of those who used the app, reviews were positive, with 76% indicating the app facilitated their learning. The study found that in the trial there was no significant correlation between the utilization of the app and mastery of the communication skill. The researchers concluded that without mandated use and evidence of effectiveness, apps should not be offered to physicians as an educational option and training opportunity for improving communication skills.
Citation: McCarthy DM, Formella KT, Ou EZ . There's an app for that: teaching residents to communicate diagnostic uncertainty through a mobile gaming application. Patient Educ Couns 2022 Jun;105(6):1463-69. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2021.09.038..
Keywords: Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Clinician-Patient Communication, Communication, Education: Continuing Medical Education, Health Information Technology (HIT)
Giardina TD, Choi DT, Upadhyay DK
Inviting patients to identify diagnostic concerns through structured evaluation of their online visit notes.
This study’s objective was to test if patients can identify concerns about their diagnosis through structured evaluation of their online visit notes in an electronic health record (EHR) system. Patients aged 18-85 years in a large integrated health system who actively used the patient portal were invited to respond to an online questionnaire if an EHR algorithm detected any recent visit following an initial primary care consultation. The authors developed and tested an instrument (Safer Dx Patient Instrument) to help patients identify concerns related to the diagnostic process based on notes review and recall of recent “at-risk” visits. The algorithm identified 1282 eligible patients, of whom 486 responded. Of the 418 patients included in the analysis, 51 patients (12.2%) identified a diagnostic concern. Patients were more likely to report a concern if they disagreed with statements "The care plan the provider developed for me addressed all my medical concerns", "I trust the provider that I saw during my visit" and agreed with the statement "I did not have a good feeling about my visit".
AHRQ-funded; HS027363; HS025474.
Citation: Giardina TD, Choi DT, Upadhyay DK . Inviting patients to identify diagnostic concerns through structured evaluation of their online visit notes. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2022 May 11;29(6):1091-100. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocac036..
Keywords: Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Health Information Technology (HIT), Patient Experience, Patient Safety
Lowry KP, Bissell MCS, Miglioretti DL
Breast biopsy recommendations and breast cancers diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authors sought to examine breast biopsy recommendations and breast cancers diagnosed before and during the COVID-19 pandemic by mode of detection and women's characteristics. Using data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, they found that there were substantially fewer breast biopsies with cancer diagnoses during the COVID-19 pandemic from March to September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, with Asian and Hispanic women experiencing the largest declines followed by Black women.
Citation: Lowry KP, Bissell MCS, Miglioretti DL . Breast biopsy recommendations and breast cancers diagnosed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Radiology 2022 May;303(2):287-94. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2021211808..
Keywords: COVID-19, Cancer: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Miller AC, Arakkal AT, Koeneman SH
Frequency and duration of, and risk factors for, diagnostic delays associated with histoplasmosis.
This study’s goal was to estimate the incidence, length of, and risk factors for diagnostic delays associated with histoplasmosis. The authors used data from IBM Marketscan from 2001 to 2017 to find all patients diagnosed with histoplasmosis. They calculated the number of visits prior to diagnosis, and the number of visits with symptomatically similar diagnoses (SSDs). Using a simulation-based approach, they estimated the number of visits that represented a delay, computed the number of potential opportunities for diagnosis that were missed for each patient, and computed the length time to the final diagnosis. The number of SSD-related visits increased significantly in the 97 days prior to diagnosis. The authors found that 97.4% of patients had a visit, and 90.1% had at least one SSD visit. They estimated that 82.9% of patients with histoplasmosis experienced at least one missed diagnostic opportunity. The average diagnosis delay was 39.5 days with an average of 4.0 missed opportunities. Risk factors for missed diagnosis included prior antibiotic use, history of other pulmonary diseases, and emergency department and outpatient visits, especially during weekends.
Citation: Miller AC, Arakkal AT, Koeneman SH . Frequency and duration of, and risk factors for, diagnostic delays associated with histoplasmosis. J Fungi 2022 Apr 23;8(5). doi: 10.3390/jof8050438..
Keywords: Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Starnes LS, Krehnbrink M, Carroll AR
A pain in the neck: an adolescent with neck pain.
This case study involves a 15-year-old boy who presents with several years of intermittent neck pain, which has acutely worsened during the past 4 days. Patient history, diagnosis (Salmonella osteomyelitis.), and treatment are explored.
Citation: Starnes LS, Krehnbrink M, Carroll AR . A pain in the neck: an adolescent with neck pain. Pediatr Rev 2022 Mar;43(3):174-77. doi: 10.1542/pir.2020-004168..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Infectious Diseases, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Case Study, Evidence-Based Practice
Woloshin S, Dewitt B, Krishnamurti T
Assessing how consumers interpret and act on results from at-home COVID-19 self-test kits: a randomized clinical trial.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized SARS-CoV-2 rapid at-home self-test kits for individuals with and without symptoms. How appropriately users interpret and act on the results of at-home COVID-19 self-tests is unknown. The objective of this study was to assess how users of at-home COVID-19 self-test kits interpreted and acted on results when given instructions authorized by the FDA, instructions based on decision science principles, or no instructions.
Citation: Woloshin S, Dewitt B, Krishnamurti T . Assessing how consumers interpret and act on results from at-home COVID-19 self-test kits: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med 2022 Mar;182(3):332-41. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.8075..
Keywords: COVID-19, Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Lacson R, Khorasani R, Fiumara K
Collaborative case review: a systems-based approach to patient safety event investigation and analysis.
The objectives of this study were to assess a system-based approach to event investigation and analysis--collaborative case reviews (CCRs)--and to measure impact of clinical specialty on strength of action items prescribed. The institutional review board-approved study describes the program, including a percentage of CCR from an institutional Electronic Safety Reporting System. Findings showed that an integrated multispecialty CCR co-led by the radiology department and an institutional patient safety program was associated with a higher proportion of CCR, stronger action items, and higher action item completion rate versus other hospital departments.
Citation: Lacson R, Khorasani R, Fiumara K . Collaborative case review: a systems-based approach to patient safety event investigation and analysis. J Patient Saf 2022 Mar 1;18(2):e522-e27. doi: 10.1097/pts.0000000000000857..
Keywords: Patient Safety, Adverse Events, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Imaging
Hua CL, Thomas KS, Bunker JN
Dementia diagnosis in the hospital and outcomes among patients with advanced dementia documented in the Minimum Data Set.
This retrospective cohort study examined the association between a dementia diagnosis listed on a hospital claim and patient outcomes among individuals with a Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessment. The cohort was comprised of hospitalized patients aged 66 years and older with advanced dementia noted on an MDS assessment completed within 120 days prior to their first hospitalization in 2017. Among 120,989 patients with advanced dementia and a nursing home stay, 90.6% had a dementia diagnosis on their hospital claims. Documentation of a dementia diagnosis was associated with lower use of intensive care unit or coronary care unit, use of invasive mechanical ventilation, and 30-day mortality. These patients also had a shorter hospital length of stay.
Citation: Hua CL, Thomas KS, Bunker JN . Dementia diagnosis in the hospital and outcomes among patients with advanced dementia documented in the Minimum Data Set. J Am Geriatr Soc 2022 Mar;70(3):846-53. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17564..
Keywords: Dementia, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Medicare, Hospitals, Neurological Disorders
Marshall TL, Rinke ML, Olson APJ
Diagnostic error in pediatrics: a narrative review.
This narrative review focuses on the relative paucity of large, high-quality studies of diagnostic errors and what is known at present about the incident and epidemiology as well as the established research for identifying, evaluating, and reducing diagnostic errors. The authors propose several key research questions aimed at addressing persistent gaps in the pediatric diagnostic error literature. The authors state that additional research is needed to better establish the epidemiology of diagnostic errors in pediatrics, including identifying high-risk clinical scenarios, patient populations, and groups of diagnoses.
AHRQ-funded; HS023827; HS026644.
Citation: Marshall TL, Rinke ML, Olson APJ . Diagnostic error in pediatrics: a narrative review. Pediatrics 2022 Mar;149(Suppl 3). doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-045948D..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Patient Safety, Medical Errors
Radhakrishnan A, Reyes-Gastelum D, Abrahamse P
Physician specialties involved in thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment: implications for improving health care disparities.
The authors sought to characterize providers involved in diagnosing and treating thyroid cancer. Patients with differentiated thyroid cancer from the Georgia and Los Angeles County Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results registries were surveyed. The authors found that, among thyroid cancer patients, 40.6% reported being informed of their diagnosis by their surgeon, 37.9% by their endocrinologist, and 13.5% by their primary care physician (PCP). The researchers concluded that PCPs were involved in thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment, and their involvement was greater among older patients and patients of minority race/ethnicity.
Citation: Radhakrishnan A, Reyes-Gastelum D, Abrahamse P . Physician specialties involved in thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment: implications for improving health care disparities. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2022 Feb 17;107(3):e1096-e105. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab781..
Keywords: Cancer, Disparities, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Practice Patterns, Quality Improvement, Quality of Care
Vivtcharenko VY, Ramesh S, Dukes K
Diagnosis documentation of critically ill children at admission to a PICU.
This study’s objective was to describe how pediatric critical care clinicians document patients' diagnoses at PICU admission. PICU admission notes for 96 unique patients were reviewed. Findings showed that most PICU admission notes documented a rationale for the primary diagnosis and expressed diagnostic uncertainty. Clinicians varied widely in how they organized diagnostic information, used contextual details to clarify the diagnosis, and expressed uncertainty. Recommendations included future work to determine how diagnosis narratives affect clinical decision-making, patient care, and outcomes.
AHRQ-funded; HS026965; HS022087.
Citation: Vivtcharenko VY, Ramesh S, Dukes K . Diagnosis documentation of critically ill children at admission to a PICU. Pediatr Crit Care Med 2022 Feb;23(2):99-108. doi: 10.1097/pcc.0000000000002812..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Critical Care, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Bryant KB, Green MB, Shimbo D
Home blood pressure monitoring for hypertension diagnosis by current recommendations: a long way to go.
This analysis examined how historical use of home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) aligns with current out-of-office BP monitoring recommendations for hypertensive US adults without a previous hypertension diagnosis and how HBPM use varies by patient characteristics. A cohort of 7185 adults aged 20 years or older without a diagnosis of hypertension or antihypertensive medication use and a high office BP (≥130/80 mm Hg) who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009 to 2014 cycle were included. Participants who answered as having self-initiated or physician recommended HBPM were categorized as having used or having been told to use HBPM. The authors estimate that 31.4 million US adults did not have diagnosed hypertension, were not taking antihypertensive medications, and had an office BP ≥130/80 mm Hg. Out of that population, 95.3% would have met criteria to undergo out-of-office BP monitoring by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines. Only 3.6% (1.1 million) were told to use HBPM, and 15.7% had used HPBM. There were no differences in use by race/ethnicity, sex, health insurance status, or source of routine healthcare. The authors suggest the use of a telemonitoring system to improve ease of HBPM.
Citation: Bryant KB, Green MB, Shimbo D . Home blood pressure monitoring for hypertension diagnosis by current recommendations: a long way to go. Hypertension 2022 Feb;79(2):e15-e17. doi: 10.1161/hypertensionaha.121.18463..
Keywords: Hypertension, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Blood Pressure
Marchese AL, Fine AM, Levy JA
Physician risk perception and testing behaviors for children with fever.
This study sought to determine whether physician risk perception was associated with the decision to obtain blood or imaging tests among children who present to the emergency department with fever. A retrospective, cross-section study was conducted at the Boston Children’s Hospital emergency department. Children aged 6 months to 18 years who presented with a fever from May 2014 to April 2019 were included. The authors assessed risk perception using 3 scales: the Risk Tolerance Scale (RTS), Stress from Uncertainty Scale (SUS), and Malpractice Fear Scale (MFS). Across 55 pediatric emergency physicians, there was no association found between risk perception and blood/imaging testing in febrile children for any of those scales.
Citation: Marchese AL, Fine AM, Levy JA . Physician risk perception and testing behaviors for children with fever. Pediatr Emerg Care 2022 Feb;38(2):e805-e10. doi: 10.1097/pec.0000000000002413..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Provider: Physician, Emergency Department, Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Salwei ME, Carayon P, Wiegmann D
Usability barriers and facilitators of a human factors engineering-based clinical decision support technology for diagnosing pulmonary embolism.
The authors sought to identify and describe the usability barriers and facilitators of a human factors engineering (HFE)-based clinical decision support (CDS) prior to implementation in the emergency department. Through debrief interviews, they identified 271 occurrences of usability barriers and facilitators of the HFE-based CDS. They concluded that the systematic use of HFE principles in the design of CDS improves the usability of these technologies and recommended workflow integration in order to reduce usability barriers.
AHRQ-funded; HS026395; HS024558; HS022086.
Citation: Salwei ME, Carayon P, Wiegmann D . Usability barriers and facilitators of a human factors engineering-based clinical decision support technology for diagnosing pulmonary embolism. Int J Med Inform 2022 Feb;158:104657. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2021.104657..
Keywords: Clinical Decision Support (CDS), Health Information Technology (HIT), Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Kho RM, Desai VB, Schwartz PE
Endometrial sampling for preoperative diagnosis of uterine leiomyosarcoma.
This retrospective cohort study examined the effectiveness of endometrial sampling for preoperative detection of uterine leiomyosarcoma in women undergoing hysterectomy, identified factors associated with missed diagnosis, and compared the outcomes of patients who had a preoperative diagnosis with those patients who had a missed diagnosis. A total of 79 patients with uterine leiomyosarcoma were included in the study. Of those patients, 46 (58.2%) were diagnosed preoperatively and 33 postoperatively. The groups were similar in age, race/ethnicity, bleeding symptoms, and comorbidities. Women who had endometrial sampling performed with hysteroscopy had a higher likelihood of preoperative diagnosis. Patients with localized stage (vs distant stage) or tumor size >11 cm were less likely to be diagnosed preoperatively.
Citation: Kho RM, Desai VB, Schwartz PE . Endometrial sampling for preoperative diagnosis of uterine leiomyosarcoma. J Minim Invasive Gynecol 2022 Jan;29(1):119-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2021.07.004.
Keywords: Cancer, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Surgery, Women
Zimolzak AJ, Shahid U, Giardina TD
Why test results are still getting "lost" to follow-up: a qualitative study of implementation gaps.
Lack of timely follow-up of abnormal test results is common and has been implicated in missed or delayed diagnosis, resulting in potential for patient harm. As part of a larger project to implement change strategies to improve follow-up of diagnostic test results, this study sought to identify specifically where implementation gaps exist, as well as possible solutions identified by front-line staff.
Citation: Zimolzak AJ, Shahid U, Giardina TD . Why test results are still getting "lost" to follow-up: a qualitative study of implementation gaps. J Gen Intern Med 2022 Jan;37(1):137-44. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06772-y..
Keywords: Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, Quality of Care
Mahajan P, Mollen C, Alpern ER
An operational framework to study diagnostic errors in emergency departments: findings from a consensus panel.
The purpose of this study was to create an operational definition and framework to study diagnostic error in the emergency department setting. A multidisciplinary panel defined diagnostic errors, modified the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's diagnostic process framework, and underscored the importance of outcome feedback to emergency department providers to promote learning and improvement related to diagnosis.
Citation: Mahajan P, Mollen C, Alpern ER . An operational framework to study diagnostic errors in emergency departments: findings from a consensus panel. J Patient Saf 2021 Dec 1;17(8):570-75. doi: 10.1097/pts.0000000000000624..
Keywords: Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Emergency Department, Medical Errors, Adverse Events
Tremblay ES, Millington K, Monuteaux MC
Plasma β-Hydroxybutyrate for the diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis in the emergency department.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a common emergency department presentation of both new-onset and established diabetes mellitus (DM). β-Hydroxybutyrate (BOHB) provides a direct measure of the pathophysiologic derangement in DKA as compared with the nonspecific measurements of blood pH and bicarbonate. The objective of this study was to characterize the relationship between BOHB and DKA. The investigators concluded that β-Hydroxybutyrate accurately predicted DKA in children and adolescents. More importantly, because plasma BOHB is the ideal biochemical marker of DKA, BOHB may provide a more optimal definition of DKA for management decisions and treatment targets.
Citation: Tremblay ES, Millington K, Monuteaux MC . Plasma β-Hydroxybutyrate for the diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis in the emergency department. Pediatr Emerg Care 2021 Dec;37(12):e1345-e50. doi: 10.1097/pec.0000000000002035..
Keywords: Children/Adolescents, Emergency Department, Diabetes, Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Giardina TD, Korukonda S, Shahid U
Use of patient complaints to identify diagnosis-related safety concerns: a mixed-method evaluation.
This retrospective cohort study evaluated the use of patient complaint data to identify patient safety concerns related to diagnosis as an initial step to using this information to facilitate learning and improvement. Patient complaints submitted to the Geisinger healthcare system were reviewed with 2 cohorts from August to December 2017 (cohort 1) and January to June 2018 (cohort 2). The authors selected complaints more likely to be associated with diagnostic concerns in Geisinger’s existing complaint taxonomy. In cohort 1, 1865 complaint summaries were reviewed and 177 (9.5%) were identified as concerning. The review identified 39 diagnostic errors. In cohort 2, 2423 patient complaints were reviewed and 310 (12.8%) concerning reports were identified. A 10% sample contained give diagnostic errors. Most errors were categorized as “Clinical Care” issues.
AHRQ-funded; HS025474; HS027363.
Citation: Giardina TD, Korukonda S, Shahid U . Use of patient complaints to identify diagnosis-related safety concerns: a mixed-method evaluation. BMJ Qual Saf 2021 Dec;30(12):996-1001. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2020-011593..
Keywords: Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Patient Safety, Medical Errors, Adverse Events
Nehls N, Yap TS, Salant T
Systems engineering analysis of diagnostic referral closed-loop processes.
This systems engineering (SE) analysis of diagnostic referral closed-loop processes examines process logic, variation, reliability, and failures for completing diagnostic referrals originating in two primary care practices serving different demographics, using dermatology as an illustrating use case. Research has shown that there is a 65-73% failure rate in completing diagnostic referrals, which is a significant patient safety problem. An interdisciplinary team collaborated to understand processes of initiating and completing diagnostic referrals. Cross-functional process maps were developed through iterative group interviews with an urban community-based health center and a teaching practice within a large academic medical center. Results were used to conduct an engineering process analysis, assess variation between and within practices, and identify common failure modes and potential solutions.
Citation: Nehls N, Yap TS, Salant T . Systems engineering analysis of diagnostic referral closed-loop processes. BMJ Open Qual 2021 Nov;10(4). doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2021-001603..
Keywords: Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Primary Care, Patient Safety
Daniel M, Park S, Seifert CM
Understanding diagnostic processes in emergency departments: a mixed methods case study protocol.
This paper describes a study protocol to map diagnostic processes in the emergency department as a foundation for developing future error mitigation strategies. The study has three parts: prospective field observations of patients with undifferentiated symptoms at high risk for diagnostic error; observing individual care team providers over a 4-hour window; and interviews with key stakeholders to understand different perspectives on the diagnostic process. This foundational work will help identify strengths and vulnerabilities in diagnostic processes.
AHRQ-funded; HS027363; HS026622.
Citation: Daniel M, Park S, Seifert CM . Understanding diagnostic processes in emergency departments: a mixed methods case study protocol. BMJ Open 2021 Sep 24;11(9):e044194. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044194..
Keywords: Emergency Department, Diagnostic Safety and Quality
Vaghani V, Wei L, U
Validation of an electronic trigger to measure missed diagnosis of stroke in emergency departments.
Diagnostic errors are major contributors to preventable patient harm. In this study, the investigators validated the use of an electronic health record (EHR)-based trigger (e-trigger) to measure missed opportunities in stroke diagnosis in emergency departments (EDs). The investigators concluded that a symptom-disease pair-based e-trigger identified missed diagnoses of stroke with a modest positive predictive value, underscoring the need for chart review validation procedures to identify diagnostic errors in large data sets.
AHRQ-funded; HS017820; HS024459.
Citation: Vaghani V, Wei L, U . Validation of an electronic trigger to measure missed diagnosis of stroke in emergency departments. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2021 Sep 18;28(10):2202-11. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocab121..
Keywords: Stroke, Cardiovascular Conditions, Emergency Department, Diagnostic Safety and Quality, Medical Errors, Adverse Events