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  • 1.  A letter from Japan

    Posted 09-15-2021 05:52
    Dear colleagues and friends,    

    In a recent issue of the Diagnosis, my team published an article (letter) on the barriers to reducing diagnostic errors in Japan.


     We conducted a qualitative study using Root Cause Analysis of the reasons that we believe are hindering diagnostic error. We used a fishbone diagram to analyze the resulting causes in seven layers: education, culture, systems, policy, physicians, patients, and paramedical staff.
    (One of the team members will give an oral presentation at next month's DEM, focusing on the relevance of this paper.)

    This survey is based in Japan. Although cultural contexts vary among countries, we would argue that the seven categories highlighted in this analysis can be generalizable and extrapolated to some extent to other countries. Particularly, I would suppose there may still be many works to be done to improve diagnosis in East Asia. That means East Asia may have a lot of potential for further development.

    In Japan, the dissemination of the concept of diagnostic error started in 2011 just after the first participation of three Japanese physicians (Shimizu, Matsumoto, Tokuda) at the DEM in Chicago (where Dr. Gary Klein gave a lecture on intuition). Since then, the team has grown and now physicians from the Diagnostic Excellence Working Group (former Diagnostic Error working group) of the Japanese Society of Hospital General Medicine are now spearheading the way in not only spreading the concept of diagnostic error but discussing ways to improve it. As a member of the SIDM/the journal's editorial board, I (and the Japan team) will continue to work for the success of diagnostic excellence across the world.


    Taro Shimizu

    Dokkyo Medical University Hospital, Japan

    Taro Shimizu
    Dokkyo University