Improving Healthcare Diagnosis is Imperative to Quality Care
Improving healthcare diagnosis will soon become an important focus in driving value based healthcare outcomes according to a publication entitled “Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare” released by the Institute of Medicine. According to the report “For decades, diagnostic errors – inaccurate or delayed diagnosis – have represented a blind spot in the delivery of quality healthcare. Diagnostic errors persist throughout all settings of care and continue to harm an unacceptable number of patients”
How prevalent is the problem?
A recent committee of healthcare leaders and stakeholders discovered that most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, and that sometimes these errors come with devastating consequences. A person with a misdiagnosed condition may receive unnecessary or harmful treatment, they might have a delay in appropriate treatment causing their condition to worsen, or experience significant financial or psychological repercussions which negatively impacts their trust in the healthcare system or with healthcare providers.
According to the report, a diagnostic error is defined as “the failure to (a) establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient’s health problems or (b) communicate that explanation to the patient.”
The committee went on to say that “Improving the diagnostic process is not only possible, but also represents a moral, professional, and public health imperative.”
To work toward improvement in the diagnostic process, the Institute of Medicine has developed a conceptual framework of the diagnostic process, as well as eight recommended goals for improvement (image below). DocResponse understands the need for improving healthcare diagnosis and support the efforts of providers, payers and health plans in ensuring that newly developed technology is in place to support improved accuracy in diagnosis for today’s healthcare patients, as well as critical educational tools which assist the patient and their families in understanding more about their condition and treatment options available.
In the committee’s conceptual model of the diagnostic process, there are multiple points of support which DocResponse technology is able to provide.
- DocResponse facilitates the gathering of information from a patient via a unique guided diagnostic evaluation which allows patients to self-report symptom information and provides the most accurate online diagnosis in the industry according to a recent Harvard Study.
- DocResponse can serve as a valuable check point for providers to consult when determining the working diagnosis for a patient, and can help to substantiate diagnostic information or highlight other possible conditions that the patient might have improving healthcare diagnosis accuracy.
- Post diagnosis the DocResponse platform aids the provider and patient by providing critical educational information which explains the health problem, or possible health problems to the patient in an easy to understand online format. It also educates patients regarding possible treatment options allowing the empowerment of patients throughout the healthcare continuum.
The Institute of Medicine’s Eight Goals for Improving Healthcare Diagnosis:
- Facilitate more effective teamwork in the diagnostic process among healthcare professionals, patients, and their families
- Enhance health care professional education and training in the diagnostic process.
- Ensure that health information technologies (IT) support patients and health care professionals in the diagnostic process.
- Develop and deploy approaches to identify, learn from, and reduce diagnostic errors and near misses in clinical practice.
- Establish a work system and culture that supports the diagnostic process and improvements in diagnostic performance.
- Develop a reporting environment and medical liability system that facilitates improved diagnosis through learning from diagnostic errors and near misses.
- Design a payment and care delivery environment that supports the diagnostic process.
- Provide dedicated funding for research on the diagnostic process and diagnostic errors.
Ensuring that we are working toward improving healthcare diagnosis is the first step in driving value, eliminating waste, and achieving superior outcomes in the new era of healthcare quality. DocResponse is committed to supporting the goals if improving healthcare diagnosis through the continued development of innovative technology which provides the most accurate online diagnosis available, and educational supports for patients. To find out more about our platform and its applications please click here to schedule a demo, or contact us at email@example.com
“Without a dedicated focus on improving diagnosis, diagnostic errors will likely worsen as the delivery of health care and the diagnostic process continue to increase in complexity” states the Institute of Medicine Report, but together we can shift that focus and improve diagnosis in healthcare.