Achieving high value care through reduced diagnostic errors

Achieving high value care through reduced diagnostic errors

‘Delivering high-value care starts with an accurate diagnosis but each year an estimated 140,000 errors, some of which are due to diagnostic imaging, challenges the ability of our health workforce to deliver this care,’ says Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive John Gregg.

An issues brief, Reducing diagnostic errors related to medical imaging, published today by the AHHA’s Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research examines various health policies that have been implemented internationally to improve the use of diagnostic imaging and reduce the consequences of diagnostic errors in relation to the Australian context.

‘In Australia, reducing diagnostic errors needs to be a priority due to the consequent impact on patient outcomes through delayed or inappropriate healthcare, and the sustainability of the healthcare sector through wasted resources,’ says the report co-author, Dr Sean Docking, 2021 Deeble Summer Research Scholar and Research Fellow, Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Cabrini Institute.

‘Despite the large number of diagnostic imaging services utilised and the significant investment of public funds to improve patient access to diagnostic imaging, Australian data on the incidence and consequences of diagnostic errors related to medical imaging is lacking, hampering any effort to improve the quality of diagnostic imaging services.

The brief provides a series of recommendations to minimise the occurrence of diagnostic errors and improve the delivery of high-value care.

In particular, the brief recommends the implementation of a national strategy to identify and prevent diagnostic errors and contemporary analysis of medical indemnity claims to measure the incidence and consequences of diagnostic errors

‘Investment to reduce diagnostic errors will improve the quality of care, reduce serious harm, and improve the sustainability of the sector through reduction in medical indemnity claims and the number of unnecessary imaging referrals,’ says Dr Docking.

Reducing diagnostic errors related to medical imaging is available online. More information on AHHA and the Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research is available at ahha.asn.au. This media release is available online.

This Issues Brief was developed with the support of the Deeble Summer Research Scholar, a joint initiative of the AHHA and HESTA.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is the independent peak membership body and advocate for the Australian healthcare system and national voice for universally accessible, high quality health care in Australia.

Media enquiries: Kylie Woolcock, Chief Executive, AHHA, 0410 625 830, [email protected] 

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