Eliminating Harm from
Diagnostic Error

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) is working to create a world where no patients are harmed by diagnostic error.

Understanding Diagnostic Error

Medscape, in partnership with SIDM, developed a learning module for individuals interested in improving diagnostic accuracy.


Jessica Barnett was 12 when she started fainting. Her local hospital referred her to a neurologist at a leading children’s hospitals, where she was diagnosed with epilepsy. But the prescribed medicine didn’t help.

DxQI Seed Grant Program

Engaging healthcare organizations in efforts to identify, develop, and test interventions aimed at improving diagnostic quality and reducing harm from diagnostic error.

Testing Oversight

After finding a small lump on her breast, Sandra Kaus completed a mammogram and was told if she did not hear back, all was well. One year later, Sandra faced a devastating delayed diagnosis.

Business colleagues shaking hands

Improving Diagnostic Safety

Over 50 leading healthcare organizations have joined forces to reduce harm and ensure better health outcomes for patients.

Webinar: Reducing Harm by Getting Patients the Right Diagnosis at the Right Time

Diagnostic errors are the most common, catastrophic and costly of all medical errors—resulting in thousands of patients suffering serious harm every year.

Watch this SIDM-sponsored Modern Healthcare webinar to learn how to understand diagnostic error, when and where misdiagnoses are most likely to take place, how to track areas for improvement in diagnostic quality, and best practices that systems can employ to improve the diagnostic process.


Patients and family members have a significant opportunity to contribute to diagnostic accuracy and timeliness by actively participating in the diagnostic process. But often, they don't know the questions to ask, the information to offer, or the steps to take to improve diagnosis.

Clinical Teams

Every member of the clinical team has a role to play in ensuring that diagnoses are accurate, timely and communicated to the patient. SIDM offers resources for clinical team members to improve cognitive skills and work within their health systems to improve the diagnostic process.

Medical Educators

Improving diagnosis requires continued investment in medical education, leveraging trainees, practitioners, and educators to address gaps in the system and focus on the teams that contribute to accurate and timely diagnostics. SIDM's resources for medical educators examine clinical reasoning and system factors that underlie diagnostic error, and offer tools and strategies to to bring diagnostic quality and safety into the medical education curriculum.


Whether you're an established researcher or just joining the diagnostic error research community, SIDM offers a variety of resources to help advance research efforts in the field. Explore existing literature, engage with your peers, and join the conversation as we work to foster the growth of the research community.


Despite the fact that diagnostic error likely accounts for more patient harm than all other medical errors combined, federal investment in research to improve diagnosis amounts to about $7 million per year, or just .02% of the total $35 billion federal health research budget. Learn how you can support efforts to expand funding for research.

In the News

US Capitol Building

Bipartisan Legislation Increasing Research Funding to Improve Diagnosis Introduced in U.S. House

Bipartisan legislation, Improving Diagnosis in Medicine Act of 2019, was introduced by U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) on November 13.

An elderly patient meeting doctor at the hospital

What Does the Public Know About Patient Safety and Diagnosis?

At the 20th anniversary of To Err is Human, the patient safety community reflects on its progress and future prospects.

concept money growing and small tree in jar

New DxQI Seed Grant Program to Promote Creativity in Diagnostic Field

SIDM has established the DxQI Seed Grant Program to engage healthcare organizations in efforts to identify, develop, and test interventions aimed at improving diagnostic quality and reducing harm from diagnostic error.


SIDM Recognizes Leaders in the Field

Gordon Schiff, MD has been named recipient of the Mark L. Graber Diagnostic Quality Award. In addition, the team at the AHRQ, Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-AZ) have also been recognized as SIDM Champions for Better Diagnosis.

Question mark and puzzle pieces

Ask these key questions when you get a diagnosis

It can be intimidating to sit with your primary care physician after he has listened to your input and examined you in your paper gown. Perhaps your heart is beating a bit fast as you wait for his pronouncement of what is causing your symptoms. What can it be? Is it serious?

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Only through your support can SIDM create a world where no patients are harmed by diagnostic error.

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