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Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine Addresses IOM Committee on Diagnostic Error

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SOURCE Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine

The IOM to tackle an issue that affects more than 12 Million Americans each year

ST. JAMES, N.Y., April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM), a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce diagnostic error, today addressed the first meeting of a new Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee studying the problem. The IOM committee will examine a spectrum of issues, including definitions, epidemiology, the burden of harm and costs, and will develop recommendations to reduce diagnostic error.

Diagnostic error is the leading cause of medical malpractice claims in the US, and is estimated to cause 40,000-80,000 deaths annually. A study published this month in British Medical Journal Quality & Safety concluded that diagnostic errors affect an estimated 1 in 20 U.S. adults just in outpatient settings, or about 12 million Americans every year, and that a significant fraction involves the potential for harm.

"Whether people realize it or not, diagnostic error affects everyone – patients, families, healthcare providers, hospitals, payers and the healthcare system overall – and addressing such a serious, complex challenge requires a collaborative and comprehensive response," said Paul Epner, MBA, MEd, Executive Vice President, SIDM, who addressed the committee. "This is why we are so pleased that IOM, with their impressive track record of facilitating meaningful healthcare changes, has agreed to tackle this issue. The robust discussion today is an important first step."

The IOM committee was commissioned in response to a petition from SIDM to focus on diagnostic error as part of the Institute's "Crossing the Quality Chasm" series. Initial funding for the IOM report was provided by contributions from the Cautious Patient Foundation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Doctors Company Foundation, the College of American Pathologists, the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has been the major sponsor of SIDM's annual conference on Diagnostic Error in Medicine. 

Progress on the IOM committee meetings and report can be followed on the IOM website.

About the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine
Representing patients, clinicians, researchers, educators, insurers, and healthcare professionals, SIDM seeks to understand the nature, causes, and remedies for diagnostic errors. Our goal is to reduce the harm related to diagnostic error, and to ensure that diagnosis is timely, accurate, reliable, efficient, and safe.

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) is committed to encouraging research, promoting education, and building awareness among all stakeholder groups that can have impact.  To accomplish this goal, SIDM collaborates with individuals, organizations, institutions and associations who share our vision for improving patient safety and healthcare delivery for patients and their families. To learn more, please visit

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