AHRQ has released new Diagnostic Safety Supplemental Items that can be added to the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety Culture™ (SOPS®) Medical Office Survey to assess provider and staff perceptions about the extent to which their medical office's organizational culture supports the diagnostic process, accurate diagnoses, and communication around diagnoses. The new survey items assess:
· Time Availability (3 items): Enough time is available for providers to fully evaluate patients' presenting problems, review relevant patient information, and finish patient notes by the end of their regular workday.
· Testing and Referrals (4 items): Tests, referrals, and other diagnostic procedures are effectively tracked and followed, results are communicated to patients, and staff confirm whether patients went to high priority appointments.
· Provider and Staff Communication Around Diagnosis (5 items): Staff are encouraged to share their concerns about a patient's health condition, providers document differential diagnoses, communicate with other providers about diagnostic issues, and discuss missed diagnoses with other providers.
Across 66 medical office pilot sites, an average of 86% of respondents indicated that "Providers in this office talk directly with specialists/radiologists/pathologists when something needs clarification." However, an average of only 48% of respondents agreed that "Providers in this office finish their patient notes by the end of their regular workday."
To learn more about the new diagnostic safety items and pilot test findings, register for a webcast on June 2 (1-2 pm ET) featuring Dr. Gordy Schiff, who will provide background on the importance of diagnostic safety. Please register and share with others.
Joann Sorra, Ph.D.