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Diagnostic errors in COVID era

  • 1.  Diagnostic errors in COVID era

    Posted 05-18-2020 19:54
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    Dear colleagues, 

    As the death toll from COVID-19 pandemic increases, the need to make a timely and accurate diagnosis has never been greater. Knowledge of clinical presentations is still evolving, and physical and psychological safety of clinicians as well as health system capacity is compromised.   Testing for COVID-19 has been a problem, but we have also seen many new issues emerge, including reports of patients not seeking help due to fear of the pandemic. 

    To increase awareness of these diagnostic problems, Tejal Gandhi and I just published a paper that describes 8 types of diagnostic errors in the COVID era (pdf also attached) https://www.journalofhospitalmedicine.com/jhospmed/article/222266/hospital-medicine/reducing-risk-diagnostic-error-covid-19-era  

    In addition to the open access paper courtesy of Journal of Hospital Medicine, there is also an institutional press release to help disseminate https://www.bcm.edu/news/infectious-diseases/misdiagnosis-harm-patients-covid-19

    Please feel free to share with others. All clinicians, health systems and patients should be aware of these 8 types of vulnerabilities.

    Best wishes for health and wellness,


    Hardeep Singh, MD MPH
    Chief, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program,
    Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQuESt)
    Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine
    2002 Holcombe Blvd. 152
    Houston TX 77030
    Team: www.bcm.edu/saferdx


  • 2.  RE: Diagnostic errors in COVID era

    Posted 05-18-2020 20:12
    I would suggest the greatest error at this time is expecting an accurate and timely diagnosis.
    Tom Benzoni

  • 3.  RE: Diagnostic errors in COVID era

    Posted 05-19-2020 02:35
    Thanks Hardeep,

    It is helpfull!

    The biggest problem in our hospital was what you called "Anchor". Two patiens who did not have COVID-19 were mislabelled as having the disease. They died (probably preventable) from sepsis not counted in the the death toll statistics of  Corona.

    "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

    Best Wishes

    Gerrit J Jager MD, PhD
    Expert Patient safety / Radiologist


    Phone:              +31 (0)73 553 2028
    Mobile Phone:  +31 (0)6 20103609 (1569)
    g.jager@jbz.nl <mailto:g.jager@jbz.nl>
    Henri Dunanstraat 1
    5223 GZ 's-Hertogenbosch
    Afdeling Kwaliteit en Veiligheid – C2.02.026
    Postbus 90153, 5200 ME 's-Hertogenbosch
    www.jeroenboschziekenhuis.nl <http://www.jeroenboschziekenhuis.nl/>