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Harnessing Event Report Data to Identify Diagnostic Error During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Shen L, Levie A, Singh H, Murray K, Desai S. Harnessing Event Report Data to Identify Diagnostic Error During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. 2022 Feb 1; 48(2):71-80.
COVID-19 exposed systemic gaps with increased potential for diagnostic error. This project implemented a new approach leveraging electronic safety reporting to identify and categorize diagnostic errors during the pandemic.
All safety event reports from March 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021, at an academic medical center were evaluated using two complementary pathways (Pathway 1: all reports with explicit mention of COVID-19; Pathway 2: all reports without explicit mention of COVID-19 where natural language processing [NLP] plus logic-based stratification was applied to identify potential cases). Cases were evaluated by manual review to identify diagnostic error/delay and categorize error type using a recently proposed classification framework of eight categories of pandemic-related diagnostic errors.
A total of 14,230 reports were included, with 95 (0.7%) identified as cases of diagnostic error/delay. Pathway 1 (n? = 1,780 eligible reports) yielded 45 reports with diagnostic error/delay (positive predictive value [PPV]? = 2.5%), of which 35.6% (16/45) were attributed to pandemic-related strain. In Pathway 2, the NLP-based algorithm flagged 110 safety reports for manual review from 12,450 eligible reports. Of these, 50 reports had diagnostic error/delay (PPV? = 45.5%); 94.0% (47/50) were related to strain. Errors from all eight categories of the taxonomy were found on analysis.
An event reporting-based strategy including use of simple-NLP-identified COVID-19-related diagnostic errors/delays uncovered several safety concerns related to COVID-19. An NLP-based approach can complement traditional reporting and be used as a just-in-time monitoring system to enable early detection of emerging risks from large volumes of safety reports.