Investing in Big Data to Reduce Hospital Misdiagnoses


According to the National Academy of Medicine, misdiagnoses account for 40,000 American deaths each year. Without a hospital investigation or universal registry that tracks patients from one facility to the next, doctors are often unaware a mistake was ever made. Thankfully, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation have committed $85 million over the next six years to help doctors and hospitals reduce these errors.

Their Diagnostic Excellence Initiative will focus on heart problems and cancers, which make up a disproportionate amount of the preventable, misdiagnosis-related deaths. Initial grants will be made to improve data collection so that health systems can better identify where the problems truly lie. Last year, the Moore Foundation worked with the Baylor College of Medicine to create a "Safer Dx Learning Lab," which collects crucial data from electronic health records, patient surveys, and confidential reports from clinicians.

Currently, these errors are mostly invisible to healthcare systems. But, by way of data collection, the Moore Foundation hopes to devise ways to quantify performance and compare results between different healthcare systems. The intent isn't to shame medical providers, but to give them the information they need to improve. LEARN MORE