SIDM and IHI Issue RFP for Interventions to Improve Diagnostic Accuracy

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fund $725,000 year-long effort


August 7, 2017 - The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), which recently merged with the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), have received a $725,100 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to better understand how delayed or wrong diagnoses happen, and to test strategies to reduce them.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s landmark report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, identified diagnostic error as a major, unaddressed patient safety issue, noting that “most people will experience at least one diagnostic error in their lifetime, sometimes with devastating consequences.” This grant from the foundation supports a major goal of the National Academies' report: “Develop and deploy approaches to identify, learn from, and reduce diagnostic errors and near misses in clinical practice.”

“The complexity of diagnosis is well known and health care organizations struggle with where to start or which interventions might have the most value,” said Mark Graber, MD, FACP, president and founder of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. “There is a wealth of suggestions on how to improve diagnosis, but almost none of these proposals have been evaluated in clinical settings.”

SIDM and IHI have issued a Request for Proposals this week seeking six health care organizations to join a six-month collaborative during which they will learn improvement skills and test one or more interventions to reduce diagnostic error. SIDM and IHI will work with the six clinical teams to harvest the learning and to consider what’s applicable to broader clinical settings. The deadline to submit proposals is September 8, 2017.

“Arriving at an accurate diagnosis is a complicated, collaborative process that involves many players in the health care system working together,” said Jennifer Lenoci-Edwards, RN, MPH, Director, Patient Safety, Institute for Healthcare Improvement. “It’s critically important to better understand the process and improve its accuracy.”

Selected healthcare organizations would receive a $15,000 stipend to support their projects. Using the unique “IHI Collaborative” approach that has successfully advanced safety and quality work over the past decade, the participating organizations will work and learn together in this effort, sharing problems, insights, and lessons learned.

“To improve patient care, we need to learn which interventions work and which ones improve diagnostic performance most effectively,” added Graber.

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About the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)
SIDM is a nonprofit organization whose members include clinicians and other healthcare professionals, patients and every stakeholder in the diagnostic process. SIDM sponsors the annual Diagnostic Error in Medicine conference being held October 8-10, 2017 in Boston, MA. In 2015, SIDM established the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, a collaboration of 34 leading healthcare organizations. Visit to learn more.

About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) began working together as one organization in May 2017. The newly formed entity is committed to using its combined knowledge and resources to focus and energize the patient safety agenda in order to build systems of safety across the continuum of care. To learn more about our training sessions, resources, and practical applications, visit

About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Visit and follow @MooreFound.

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Driving Quality Improvement Efforts

Working with the IHI, SIDM and a number of healthcare organizations have developed a collective to test and develop tools and techniques to improve the safety of the diagnostic process.