WBB's Thought Leadership

Johns Hopkins Launches Diagnostic Center to Reduce Medical Errors

November 21

Johns Hopkins Hospital announced the opening of a multidisciplinary center to improve diagnostic accuracy, focusing initially on reducing stroke episodes by 50%.

Misdiagnosis is a significant cause of preventable patient harm in the U.S. as well as waste due to unnecessary testing. The center will work to reduce diagnostic errors and over diagnosis.

Excerpt: “Johns Hopkins recently launched a center – the Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence – targeted at reducing diagnostic errors as it should be considered a top priority for the entire industry, [Johns Hopkins Hospital President Dr. Redonda] Miller says.

“A recent ECRI Institute analysis shows patients are frequently misidentified for procedures or other actions that result in deadly consequences. A larger patient volume as well as interoperability and data sharing issues are perpetuating preventable medical errors. No care provider is immune of committing them, the nonprofit organization reports.”

“’Misdiagnosis is incredibly frequent because medicine is incredibly hard. There’s uncertainty, complexity and incomplete information all the time,’ Dr. David Newman-Toker, Johns Hopkins associate professor of neurology and otolaryngology who will be leading the new center, said in a prepared statement. ‘But we can do better than we’re doing right now, and our new center will lead change to make that a reality.’

“The Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence, which materialized with the help of a $5 million grant, will ‘enhance diagnostic accuracy, cut waste on unnecessary diagnostic testing and move the needle on eliminating preventable harms from diagnostic errors worldwide,’ according to the announcement. It will include a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and scientists from Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campuses.

“To reduce diagnostic errors, Miller says they are hoping to harness data and predictive modeling. The goal is to analyze patient data and accurately predict health complications. These errors are important quality metrics, according to Miller, as missing something can be devastating to a patient.

“The focus will be at first on preventing stroke misdiagnosis in five emergency departments across the Johns Hopkins Health System. Ultimately, Johns Hopkins hopes to reduce episodes of stroke by 50% within the next five years.”

Source: Healthcare DIVE

WBB Take: As awareness of the high cost in money, morbidity, and mortality of medical errors and waste has grown, many organizations have taken positive steps to make monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and Quality Assurance and Process Improvement (QAPI) part of their operational strategy. While healthcare will always be a relatively high-complexity environment, and therefore have increased risks, there are many areas in which simple M&E and QAPI approaches can significantly reduce waste and error, and lead to improved patient outcomes at lower cost. The creation of the Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence is an example of healthcare organizations that have taken strategic steps in reducing waste and error.




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