DxQI Seed Grant Program
Application process opens in January 2021. Sign up for updates.
Research has demonstrated that diagnostic errors are the most common, catastrophic and, costly of all causes of preventable medical harm. In fact, errors in diagnosis are the most frequent cause of medical error reported by patients. In total, it’s estimated that 12 million US adults experience a diagnostic error every year in outpatient settings alone. It has also been reported that failures of diagnosis result in as many as 80,000 preventable deaths every year in US hospitals. Through a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, researchers from John Hopkins University and CRICO Strategies found that one in three malpractice cases that result in death or permanent disability stem from an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis and resulted in $1.8 billion in malpractice payouts over 10 years. Three quarters of diagnostic error malpractice claims were attributable to just three categories of conditions: cancer (37.8 percent), vascular events (22.8 percent) and infection (13.5 percent), referred to as the “Big 3.”
Given the magnitude of diagnostic error burden, SIDM advocates for increased attention by health systems to improving the quality of their diagnostic process. This goes beyond avoiding errors and includes consideration of accuracy, timeliness, cost, and patient convenience. Designing an optimal diagnostic process will require a careful balancing among these competing demands. Given the dearth of solutions, we believe catalyzing a "bottom up" approach, whereby frontline health professionals and patients are engaged to develop and test plausible solutions, will most likely produce the best outcomes.
Organizations interested in the DxQI Seed Grant Program may sign up to receive notifications when the request for proposal is issued.
Twenty grantees will be awarded grants of up to $50,000 to carry out 12-month diagnostic quality and safety improvement projects. Grantees will be asked to identify opportunities for improvement and potential interventions, evolve the interventions through small tests of change to increase their effectiveness, build the level of evidence supporting the intervention’s effectiveness, and, where appropriate, increase impact through further opportunities to “scale and spread” utilization. There will be three distinct award cycles (annual cohorts). The first cohort of grantees will be announced later this year.
Areas for Improvement
Grants will be awarded in the following categories:
- The Big Three (see David Newman-Toker, et al. Serious misdiagnosis-related harms in malpractice claims: The “Big Three” – vascular events, infections, and cancers. Diagnosis 2019; 6(3): 227–240) 50% of awards
- Diagnostic Quality Disparities: proposals focused on how and when the visible factors of age, race/ethnicity, and/or sex, as well as other social determinants of health, influence the risk of diagnostic error. 20% of awards
- Open: topics that do not address one of the previous two areas. Up to 30% of awards