Pathologists and clinical laboratories could help reduce error rate through greater collaboration with providers
Expect the topic of diagnostic mistakes to get more media attention in coming years. That is consistent with the efforts of healthcare policymakers to improve patient safety while making it easier for consumers to access information about the quality and cost when selecting hospitals, physicians, and medical laboratories.
One opening salvo in this campaign is a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care.” It concludes that Americans will receive at least one wrong or late diagnosis in their lifetime. The rate of diagnostic errors is a patient-safety issue in which pathologists and clinical laboratories could play an important role in reducing.
Pathologists often know which physicians in their community routinely order inappropriate or wrong tests for patients. That is why pathologists could be instrumental in reducing diagnostic errors through better communication with providers to ensure doctors not only order the correct clinical laboratory tests, but also select the appropriate therapies based on test results. (more…)