Category Archives: Patient safety

Women more often misdiagnosed because of gaps in trust and knowledge

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Maya Dusenbery

Journalist, author, and editor Maya Dusenbery first became interested in why women are so often misdiagnosed about five years ago, right after she learned she had rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease.

Dusenbery, an executive editor at Feministing and author of “Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick,” spoke at the recent Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine conference about her research and reporting on the gender gap surrounding medical diagnosis. Continue reading

Patient safety expert Wachter discusses evolution of technology in health care

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Robert Wachter, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is considered the “father” of the hospitalist field and a leader in the patient safety field. He’s written six books, including “The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age,” which took a detailed look at the role of technology in health care. (We covered his 2015 talk to AHCJ-New York chapter members in this article).

Wachter was a keynote speaker at the recent Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine Conference in New Orleans – where he talked about medicine’s digital transformation and the upsides and the downsides that accompany progress. He sat with me for a brief interview prior to his presentation. Continue reading

‘Conservative diagnosis’ means judicious testing to avoid potential harm

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Daniel Foster via Flickr

Balancing the challenges of underdiagnosis (missing or delaying important diagnoses) and overdiagnosis (labeling patients with diseases that may never cause suffering or death) can feel like walking across a canyon on a tightrope. Diagnostic errors occur in an estimated 10 percent to 20 percent of cases and will affect most Americans at least once in their lifetime. They are the leading cause of medical malpractice claims, harming more than 4 million people at a cost of more than $100 billion.  Continue reading

Conference among many efforts to reduce diagnostic errors

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Matthew Hadley via Flickr

Every nine minutes, someone in a U.S. hospital dies due to a medical diagnosis that was wrong or delayed. This jarring fact is front and center on the home page of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). Reducing this number to zero is why some 400 physicians, nurses, patients, health institutions, nonprofits, and policymakers gathered in New Orleans this week for the 11th annual Diagnostic Error in Medicine Annual International Conference. Continue reading

Moore Foundation awards $500,000-plus grant to AHCJ

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the educational arm of the Association of Health Care Journalists, has been awarded a grant of more than half a million dollars to strengthen the knowledge and skills of health care journalists.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation made the three-year grant of $509,400 to the Missouri-based center to assist in educating journalists in building their knowledge base in several areas.

Along with continuing the foundation’s support of a web-based core curriculum on health information technology, the grant will support a new curriculum on patient safety, curated resources for freelance journalists and an endowing sponsorship of the annual conference of AHCJ.

Continue reading 

Report offers scenarios on how EHRs can pose safety risks to patients – and questions reporters should ask

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health, science and medicine for AFP, the Bay Area News Group, Modern Healthcare, Wired, Scientific American online and many other news outlets.

Photo: Blake Facey via Flickr

Poor usability and design flaws of electronic health records (EHRs) can pose safety risks to patients, according to recent studies.

A recently-issued report urges more oversight and post-market testing to ensure that EHRs don’t inadvertently harm patients. The report was the result of a collaboration of the Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Medical Association and MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare.

The 57-page report may be helpful for journalists who seek to familiarize themselves with some of the existing usability problems with EHRs, and how they can pose a risk to patients. Continue reading