National Patient Safety Foundation Recognizes CRICO’s Support of Patient Safety Awareness Week 2014

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Organizations Share Common Goal of Education About Diagnostic Error

Patient Safety Awareness Week 2014

Our data show that missed and delayed diagnoses continue to be a significant issue in malpractice cases across the country.

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), a central voice for patient safety since 1997, is pleased to recognize CRICO, a leader in evidence-based health care risk management, as a new supporter of Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2014. Both NPSF and CRICO promote professional education exploring the underlying causes of diagnostic errors and how such errors might be prevented—a central focus of this year’s Patient Safety Awareness Week campaign.

A diagnostic error can be defined as a wrong, delayed, or missed diagnosis. While not all diagnostic errors result in patient harm, they represent the leading cause of malpractice cases for many organizations.

“Our data show that missed and delayed diagnoses continue to be a significant issue in malpractice cases across the country,” says Luke Sato, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at CRICO. “CRICO applauds the efforts of NPSF and its collaborators to increase awareness of this serious risk to patient safety, and we are proud to support their efforts.”

In one CRICO study of office-based malpractice cases, 52% involved an allegation of diagnostic error. In a separate analysis of malpractice claims involving electronic medical records, CRICO identified two factors that can contribute to missed or delayed diagnosis: (1) failure to order the appropriate diagnostic test; and/or (2) failure to follow up fully after a test is completed or a referral to a specialist is made.

CRICO is among the organizations contributing educational materials for NPSF to promote during Patient Safety Awareness Week. CRICO’s new educational collection—a resource for individuals looking to reduce diagnostic error and other patient safety risks—is available to the general public through their website.

In addition to contributing to the NPSF effort, CRICO is reaching out to each of its member institutions within the Harvard medical community, asking them to share their plans for Patient Safety Awareness Week. They will be launching a social media campaign—“I’m wearing purple for patient safety!”—to raise awareness within the Harvard medical institutions.

“Through its work in analyzing claims data, developing tools and best practices, and supporting research, CRICO has done much to bring attention to the issue of diagnostic errors and how they might be prevented,” says Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS. “NPSF is pleased to have CRICO join the Patient Safety Awareness Week effort.”

About Patient Safety Awareness Week
Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness campaign for health care safety led by the National Patient Safety Foundation. This year, in collaboration with the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and with the generous sponsorship of the Cautious Patient Foundation, NPSF is developing and disseminating educational materials for clinicians, health systems, and patients and consumers specifically related to better understanding and prevention of diagnostic errors.

About the National Patient Safety Foundation
The National Patient Safety Foundation’s vision is to create a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm. A central voice for patient safety since 1997, NPSF partners with patients and families, the health care community, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm. NPSF is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. To learn more about the Foundation’s work, visit

CRICO, a recognized leader in evidence-based risk management, is a group of companies owned by and serving the Harvard medical community. For more than 30 years, the CRICO companies have provided industry leading medical professional liability coverage, claims management, and patient safety resources to its members. For more information, visit

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Patricia McTiernan
since: 12/2009
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