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Structural racial bias in diagnostic error research

  • 1.  Structural racial bias in diagnostic error research

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hello,
        I suspect that there is inherent structural racial bias in diagnostic error research.  Much of what we know about the most common types of diagnostic error come from malpractice case data, e.g. CRICO's "Big Three" and Gordy Schiff's PROMISES study.   Yet, it is known that underrepresented and vulnerable populations are much less likely to file malpractice claims, which means the data we have is very biased toward those who can afford or have access to legal representation.  Additionally, there are data to support that underserved populations are more likely to suffer diagnostic error due to implicit bias, yet unless they file a claim, its unlikely to be studied.
         I would like to advocate that  future research using any sort of malpractice claim data should include the demographic data of those cases, as well as other factors known to increase the risk of error, such as severe obesity. 

         I would love to hear how others feel about this topic, and what SIDM can do to encourage transparency in diagnostic error research.  
    Denise Bockwoldt Phd, APRN
    University of IL, Chicago


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    Denise Bockwoldt
    University of Illinois at Chicago
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  • 2.  RE: Structural racial bias in diagnostic error research

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hi Denise,

    You have raised a noteworthy point and one that calls for exploration.

    Thank you.

    Marjorie Thomas





  • 3.  RE: Structural racial bias in diagnostic error research

    Posted 9 days ago
    This seems so important, Denise. It might be helpful to add another patient group whose experience with error will not be reflected in malpractice data.  Patients with symptoms "not taken seriously" or mistakenly attributed to psychological distress rarely pursue malpractice once they receive a dx - though this kind of error is increasingly important in the media, particularly in relation to women's health.  Generally patients change doctors when they encounter this error, so clinicians have little opportunity to recognize it.

    Diane O'Leary