Types and Origins of Diagnostic Errors in Primary Care Settings

JAMA Intern Medicine: February 25, 2013

Importance  Diagnostic errors are an understudied aspect of ambulatory patient safety.

Objectives  To determine the types of diseases missed and the diagnostic processes involved in cases of confirmed diagnostic errors in primary care settings and to determine whether record reviews could shed light on potential contributory factors to inform future interventions.

Design  We reviewed medical records of diagnostic errors detected at 2 sites through electronic health record–based triggers. Triggers were based on patterns of patients’ unexpected return visits after an initial primary care index visit.

Setting  A large urban Veterans Affairs facility and a large integrated private health care system. Read more