Improving Diagnosis in Health Care


Report at a Glance

  • Figures (HTML)
  • Report in Brief (PDF)
  • List of Recommendations (PDF)
  • Resources for Improving Communication (PDF)
  • Resources for Improving Communication (Spanish) (PDF)
  • Cover Image and Citation Slide (HTML)

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Getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect of health care -- it provides an explanation of a patient's health problem and informs subsequent health care decisions. Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, a continuation of the landmark Institute of Medicine reports To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System (2000) and Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century (2001) finds that diagnosis -- and, in particular, the occurrence of diagnostic errors -- has been largely unappreciated in efforts to improve the quality and safety of health care. The result of this inattention is significant: the committee concluded that most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences. 

Urgent change is warranted to address this challenge. Improving diagnosis will require collaboration and a widespread commitment to change among health care professionals, health care organizations, patients and their families, researchers, and policy makers. The recommendations from Improving Diagnosis in Health Care contribute to the growing momentum for change in this crucial area of health care quality and safety.

Report Release Webcast: Improving Diagnosis in Health Care