patient safety quality healthcare

SIDM and Cautious Patient Foundation Collaborate to Avoid Diagnostic Errors

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) and the Cautious Patient Foundation have announced a collaboration to help patients avoid diagnostic errors in their own care. Diagnostic error, defined as wrong, missed or delayed medical diagnosis, occurs in 10% to 15% of diagnostic encounters, is the largest contributor to medical malpractice claims, and is responsible for 40,000 - 80,000 deaths per year in the United States.

The Cautious Patient Foundation has committed to providing substantial grant support to SIDM to raise awareness of diagnostic error as a significant patient safety issue and create training and tools to empower patients to avoid these all too common errors. As part of this collaboration, SIDM will be working closely with Cautious Patient Foundation Executive Director Bill Thatcher to facilitate development of SIDM patient-directed programming and engagement.

"This commitment from the Cautious Patient Foundation, an organization with a deep commitment to grassroots patient engagement, is a significant signal that SIDM is moving forward not only with healthcare professionals but also with active participation by patients," said Mark Graber, Society president. "Engaging patients in the quest to improve diagnosis and reduce diagnostic errors is critical, and as the inaugural Founding Member of our Society, the Cautious Patient Foundation is an ideal partner to help strengthen this collaboration."

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine is an independent, non-profit organization devoted to making diagnosis accurate, timely, efficient, and SAFE; SIDM is the only organization currently focused on reducing diagnostic error in medicine. SIDM unites the many stakeholders impacted by diagnostic error - including patients, clinicians and their health care colleagues, health systems, payers and risk managers - spurring collaborative efforts to improve the quality of the diagnostic process while reducing errors and unnecessary health care costs. Through outreach, dialogue, research and education, SIDM sets the quality and safety agenda for improving diagnosis.

The Cautious Patient Foundation provides services to encourage patients to cooperatively engage with their doctors and participate in their own healthcare for best results.

“Many patients do not realize they can have an important – if not lifesaving – impact in impacting diagnostic errors,” said Dr. Carolyn Oliver, founder and medical director of the Cautious Patient Foundation. “Through our website and the Cautious Patient Communities we are developing, we are committed to equipping patients with the information and tools they need to be effective partners with others in the healthcare system in reducing diagnostic errors.”


ABQAURP American Society for Quality American Society for Quality Healthcare Division Consumers Advancing Patient Safety
EMPSF Institute for Safe Medical Practices
Medically Induced Trauma Support Services (MITSS) Medication Safety Officers Society NPSF Partnership for Patient Safety Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine