Can Comprehensive and Coordinated Primary Care Reduce Diagnostic Errors?

Diagnostic errors, including misdiagnosis and the failure to diagnose, are common reasons for medical malpractice injuries.  Last week, in the July 28 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, two doctors discussed how comprehensive and coordinated primary care could reduce these errors and injuries.

Specifically, the doctors believe that a model of care known as the patient-centered medical home could reduce diagnostic errors.  The five main components of that model are using the:

  • Right Medical Teamwork;
  • Right Information Management;
  • Right Measurement and Monitoring;
  • Right Patient Empowerment; and
  • Right Safety Culture

Many medical groups have approved this model.  However, whether it will be widely used, and have the desired effect of reducing diagnostic errors, improving patient outcomes and reducing medical malpractice claims remains to be seen.