Saturday, September 15, 2018

Brief Blog: What Is the "Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine" ??

On September 14, 2018, the trade journal Healthcare Dive carried a story, "Intermountain, Geisinger Form Group to Improve Diagnostic Accuracy."   OK - what?  The tag is, "More than 40 healthcare organizations and patient advocacy programs launched a campaign to cut down on diagnostic errors and ensure timely treatment for patients."
I knew this:  It's a topic the National Academy of Medicine has written about.  See the homepage for their initiatives here.   This workstream inside NAM issued a 2015 450pp report on diagnostic errors in medicine (here) and also held a 2017 follow-up on reducing diagnostic errors (webcast and 37pp briefing book, here). 
Here's the organizational story for SIDM/ACT.

Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)

First, the overlying organization is called, the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine or SIDM.   It's homepage is simple:  .   A 501(c)(3), its mission statement is: "The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine catalyzes and leads change to improve diagnosis and eliminate harm from diagnostic error, in partnership with patients, their families, the healthcare community and every interested stakeholder."

SDIM Conferences & Members

They have three conferences in 2018/2019:  In Bern this past August 2018, in New Orleans November 4-6, 2018 (11th Annual), and in Melbourne April 28-30, 2019.   Calendar here

Twitter here.   

Founding members of SIDM were a group of individuals, there are corporate members (including e.g. Abbott), and health provider and  non profit members (including the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation and Permanente Medicine).  David Newman-Toker of Johns Hopkins is current President.   Paul Epner is the CEO and founder of SIDM.

The New News:  
40 Organizations in SIDM's New "ACT" Coalition

The "new news" is a September 13, 2018 press release from the SIDM, announcing that 40-plus healthcare organizations launching a diagnostic accuracy effort.  Press release here.  This effort is separately branded as, ACT: [ Accurate Communicated Timely ] For Better Diagnosis.  The full press release is worth reading.  There is a generalistic reference to "federal liaisons" including AHRQ, CDC, CMS, VA, here.

Now, ACT has its own website too: .
ACT has this introduction:  More than 40 of the most prominent healthcare and patient advocacy organizations joined together to form the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis and launched ACT for Better Diagnosis(tm).  The goal is to improve the diagnostic process by identifying and spreading practical steps that everyone throughout the healthcare system can take—from patients and physicians to laboratory scientists and health system leaders. By working together, the Accuracy, Communication, and Timeliness of diagnosis can be improved.  ACT for Better Diagnosis is an initiative of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and supported by the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation and The Mont Fund. 


click to enlarge - ACT organizations (9/2018)


Several of the press releases state that the FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act has the following language:   The FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act included language emphasizing that improved diagnosis is a “moral, professional, and public health imperative” and requested that “the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) convene a cross-agency working group to propose a strategy to enhance scientific research to improve diagnosis in healthcare.”   I couldn't find this wording in the version of Omnibus Appropriations that I had access to (here).  "Moral, professional, public health imperative" is a wording that National Academies have used in regard to diagnostics (e.g. here).