Katherine McDonald, Ph.D., was in a brainstorming session with other editors from the innovative journal “Autism in Adulthood” and jokingly says that “I made the mistake of having a good idea for a special issue.” The result: McDonald, a professor…
‘Clearing the Error’ Recruits Public to Diagnosis, Treat Health Care Problems
Research indicates that as many as one in every 10 diagnoses in health care settings are delayed, missed or wrong, and between 40,000 and 80,000 Americans die each year as a result.
This problem has prompted Tina Nabatchi, associate professor of public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School, and a team of researchers to seek new ways for patients and healthcare professionals to work together to reduce errors in diagnoses.
Nabatchi explains, “Our ‘Clearing the Error Onondaga’ initiative encourages community members and health care professionals to identify problems and develop shared interventions to strengthen the quality of diagnoses and ultimately improve health outcomes. It’s critical to engage and educate diverse members of the public to help address these complex problems in our health care system.”
As part of the “Clearing the Error Onondaga” program, researchers will recruit a representative group of Onondaga County residents to study diagnostic errors, discuss the problems with peers and healthcare professionals over the course of two weekends and recommend steps patients, health care providers and health care systems can take to reduce the frequency and severity of errors. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine will translate those recommendations into toolkits, white papers and policy statements distributed nationwide. The society will also work to implement recommendations within health systems across the country.
Nearly 15,000 invitations have been sent to randomly selected households in the county, but any Onondaga County resident over 18 is eligible to apply at http://jefferson-center.org/health/. Participants will be paid commensurate with their participation, up to $900.
This project is part of a two-year research study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The Jefferson Center and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine are partners in the study.