Penn State Hershey has solid foundation for improving diagnosis

October 07, 2015

HERSHEY, Pa. — While national attention is being drawn to the issue of inaccurate or delayed medical diagnoses, Penn State Hershey has been actively addressing issues that can lead to diagnostic errors with programs from medical education through to the clinic.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine brought attention to the issue recently when it presented eight recommendations in its report, “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care."

The recommendations are a follow-up to the Institute of Medicine’s 2000 landmark report, “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” and 2001’s “The Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century,” both of which influenced patient safety measures at healthcare systems nationwide.

Dr. Timothy Mosher, chair of the Penn State Hershey Department of Radiology, said that collecting accurate data to measure the scope of diagnostic errors is difficult. The issue is often underestimated. According to the institute’s report, most people will be victims of diagnostic error to one degree or another at some point in their lives.

“That fact itself should be enough of an attention-getter,” Mosher said. “We have to develop better systems.”

To help reduce errors, Penn State Hershey introduced the FailSafe program to its emergency department in 2012. FailSafe communicates all findings during a visit to not only the patient’s family doctor, but to the patient as well.

Read more about these efforts in this Penn State Medicine article.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 08, 2015