Dr. Ira Williams Compares SIDM Efforts to Improve Medical Diagnosis to the Long Needless Hospital Deaths Track Record of Failure

Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) says diagnostic errors are the biggest mistake doctors make. Dr. Ira Williams says diagnostic errors are only a subset of the much larger medical problem of the estimated annual rate of needless hospital deaths that has quadrupled during the past quarter century.

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“Patients who have needlessly died in hospitals have become eerily similar to the person buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”

Greenville, SC (PRWEB) August 05, 2014

Dr. Ira Williams, author of Find The Black Box, continues his series of Open Letters
(http://is.gd/wdU2CM) by comparing the efforts to improve diagnosis in medicine with the much larger medical failure demonstrated by the tragic fact that every new estimate of needless hospital deaths has been significantly greater than all previous estimates since 1990.

The Biggest Mistake Doctors Make, (http://is.gd/2Dj0Uu) by Laura Landro, (WSJ, November 18, 2013) says, “Misdiagnoses are among the most common, costly and harmful medical errors. But they are also some of the most preventable.” Dr. Mark Graber, founder of SIDM, says, “Diagnostic error is probably the biggest patient-safety issue we face in health care, and it is finally getting on the radar of the patient quality and safety movement.” And Ms. Landro adds “Such devastating errors lead to permanent damage or death for as many as 160,000 patients each year, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.”

Dr. Williams, a SIDM member, says, “ While every effort to improve diagnosis in medicine is laudable, the Johns Hopkins estimate pales in comparison to the established track record of needless hospital deaths between the Brennan, Leape, et.al. 1990 estimate (http://is.gd/LTnBli) of 98,000, and the John James September 2013 estimate (http://is.gd/GzKOg3) of over four times that original estimate. In addition, Dr. Lucian Leape, co-leader of the 1990 research, and others strongly supported James’ findings (http://is.gd/Gag91b) also in September 2013.

Dr. Williams, in his continuing series of Open Letters, questions why the SIDM efforts to improve medical diagnosis does not expand those efforts into attempting to discover why every new annual estimate of needless hospital deaths has always been significantly greater than all previous such estimates. Dr. Williams goes on to identify what has always been missing in the efforts to improve the quality and safety of patient care during the past several decades.

Diagnostic Error in Medicine 7th International Conference (http://is.gd/maRf1A) will meet in Atlanta September 14-17, 2014, and Dr. Lucian Leape will be a Keynote Speaker on Monday Sept. 15.


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