New DxQI Seed Grant Program to Promote Creativity in Diagnostic Field

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) has been awarded a $4.5 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. With this funding, 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.

Over the course of four years, this program will enable SIDM to support a minimum of 60 sub-grantees to carry out 12-month diagnostic quality and safety improvement projects.

The application process for the inaugural year will open in January 2020. The first cohort will consist of 20 grants of up to $50,000, to be awarded in Spring 2020. The program will support two additional annual grantee cohorts in 2021 and 2022.

“SIDM’s DxQI Seed Grant Program will stimulate innovation in the field of diagnostic quality, an area where practice improvement activity is lagging,” said Paul Epner, CEO and co-founder of SIDM. “Through engaging health professionals in developing and testing promising approaches, the program will lay the groundwork for a multitude of strategies to improve diagnostic quality and safety and unleash the creativity of the healthcare community.”

Inaccurate or delayed diagnosis is the most common, catastrophic, and costly type of medical error. According to recent research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CRICO, 34% of all malpractice cases that result in death or permanent disability are caused by diagnostic errors, with 74% of such cases stemming from sources known as the “Big Three”: cancer (38%), vascular events (23%), and infection (13%). Applicants to the program will be asked to identify the emphasis of their interventions, and at least 50% of selected projects will be focused on the Big Three. Additionally, SIDM will build a DxQI online community to support shared learning across sites and to receive counsel from an improvement advisor.

“Three clinical categories—vascular events, infections, and cancers—are responsible for a disproportionate share of serious harm and preventable death because of sub-optimal diagnosis. The Moore Foundation is excited to partner with SIDM on this initiative emphasizing diagnostic improvement for these conditions,” said Daniel Yang, MD, program officer for the Moore Foundation’s Diagnostic Excellence Initiative. “We believe this investment in diagnostic excellence is timely and goes beyond avoiding errors, including consideration of cost, timeliness, accuracy, and patient experience. Designing an optimal quality improvement intervention will require a careful balancing among these competing demands.”

Organizations interested in the DxQI Seed Grant Program may sign up to receive notification when the request for proposal is issued.