Organizations Commit to Improve Diagnosis Accuracy and Timeliness

Six new members commit to improving diagnostic quality—joining 45 of the most prominent organizations in health care and patient advocacy

Washington D.C.—(January 30, 2019) Six leading healthcare organizations, including those representing the laboratory testing community and the hospitals/health system sector, have pledged to take action to improve diagnostic quality and safety by joining the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, which already includes many of the most prominent organizations in health care and patient advocacy.

Every nine minutes, someone in a U.S. hospital dies due to a medical diagnosis that was wrong or delayed. Researchers estimate that up to 80,000 deaths a year in U.S. hospitals can be attributed to inaccurate or delayed diagnoses.

Convened and led by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM), the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis is the only collaboration of diverse healthcare organizations singularly focused on improving the diagnostic process. Together, they work to find solutions that enhance diagnostic quality and safety, reduce harm and ultimately, ensure better health outcomes for patients.

Joining the 45-member Coalition are the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), Ballad Health, Baystate Health, The Joint Commission, Northwell Health, and the Washington Patient Safety Coalition (WPSC). These latest additions come on the heels of the September 2018 launch of ACT for Better Diagnosis™. ACT for Better Diagnosis aims to improve the diagnostic process by calling on organizations to identify and spread practical steps to better ensure diagnoses are Accurate, Communicated and Timely.

“For too long, improving diagnostic quality and safety has not been on the radar of health organizations,” said Paul L. Epner, chief executive officer and co-founder of SIDM. “But that is changing, and it’s exciting to now see that a groundswell is building and taking hold across all sectors of health care. These healthcare leaders are recognizing that improving the diagnostic process saves lives, reduces harm, and will save costs to the system.”

These six organizations have committed to ACT for Better Diagnosis and to take action to improve the diagnostic process:

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science: The ASCLS developed programs and products focused on educating patients and healthcare professionals to prevent wrong or delayed medical diagnoses associated with laboratory testing.

Ballad Health: Ballad Health is identifying evidence-based criteria for the appropriate testing of hospital-acquired infections, establishing appropriate use of CT and MRI imaging to improve stroke diagnoses, and creating an approach to accurately and quickly identify patients with sepsis.

Baystate Health: Baystate Health has made Diagnostic Excellence a major priority of their comprehensive Patient Safety program. They are committed to identifying opportunities to improve the diagnostic process and to implement solutions that will reduce harm from misdiagnosis. In order to achieve that goal, they have organized interdisciplinary teams to study and act in many areas including clinical reasoning education, incident identification and review, electronic clinical decision support, quality improvement activities, and clinical pathway development.

The Joint Commission: As the nation’s largest healthcare accreditor, The Joint Commission provides best practices and rigorous standards to help organizations improve patient safety and quality of care. As part of its National Patient Safety Goal 02.03.01, The Joint Commission is exploring current best practices to ensure appropriate follow-up of diagnostic tests and consults ordered as part of the diagnostic process.

Northwell Health: Northwell Health developed and deployed trials to reduce diagnostic errors within the ambulatory, emergency department, and inpatient clinical settings by focusing on the roles of the patient, family, and caregiver with a scripted “Teach-Back” intervention.

Washington Patient Safety Coalition: The WPSC voted in 2018 to elevate diagnostic improvement as one of its major programmatic goals for 2018-2019. To that end, they have organized a workgroup of stakeholders dedicated to this goal and are developing podcasts, blogs, a webinar series, and other resources on the topic. It will also be one of the key themes at their upcoming annual regional meeting, the Northwest Patient Safety Conference in May 2019, where Mark Graber and Sue Sheridan of SIDM will be the closing speakers.

The Coalition to Improve Diagnosis is convened and led by SIDM. As recently profiled in Modern Healthcare, the over 50 organizations now behind the effort—representing clinicians, patients, health systems, researchers, and testing professionals—acknowledge that improvement will require sustained work over several years with all stakeholders involved.

Our Coalition members include:

  • ABIM Foundation
  • Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Board of Internal Medicine
  • American Board of Medical Specialties
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Health Quality Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
  • American Society for Health Care Risk Management
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Association of Clinical Scientists
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Ballad Health
  • Baystate Health
  • Consumers Advancing Patient Safety
  • Council of Medical Specialty Societies
  • ECRI Institute
  • Geisinger
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Intermountain Healthcare
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • The Joint Commission
  • The Leapfrog Group
  • Maryland Patient Safety Center
  • Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors
  • Medical Professional Liability Association
  • MedStar Health
  • Midwest Alliance for Patient Safety
  • National Association of EMS Physicians
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • National Quality Forum
  • Northwell Health
  • Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative
  • Penn State Health (Hershey Medical Center)
  • Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
  • The Permanente Foundation, Kaiser Permanente
  • Society of Bedside Medicine
  • Society of Hospital Medicine
  • Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine
  • Washington Patient Safety Coalition
  • WomenHeart

Also participating in the Coalition are federal liaisons, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Veterans Health Administration.

ACT for Better Diagnosis is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and The Mont Fund. More information is available at Coalition members encourage everyone to share what actions they are taking to improve diagnosis with #betterdiagnosis.


About ACT for Better DiagnosisTM
ACT for Better Diagnosis, an initiative of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, includes many of the nation’s leading healthcare and patient organizations collaborating as part of the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis. Together, the groups are working to improve the diagnostic process, educating healthcare leaders, patients, and policymakers on the impact of missed or erroneous diagnoses and advocating for more research funding. The initiative is made possible with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and The Mont Fund. Visit to learn more.

About the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)
The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine catalyzes and leads change to improve diagnosis and eliminate harm from diagnostic error. We work in partnership with patients, their families, the healthcare community and every interested stakeholder. SIDM is the only organization focused solely on the problem of diagnostic error and improving the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis. In 2015 SIDM established the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis to increase awareness and actions that improve diagnosis. Members of the Coalition represent hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and patients—and the leading health organizations and government agencies involved in patient care. Together, we work to find solutions that enhance diagnostic safety and quality, reduce harm, and ultimately, ensure better health outcomes for patients. Visit to learn more.

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Every nine minutes, someone dies due to a wrong or delayed medical diagnosis.