Errors in diagnosis are recently being recognized as the blind spot in patient safety movement. It is estimated that everyone will experience an error in diagnosis once in their lifetime, occurs in 5% of all outpatient visits, contributes to 10% of all patient deaths and accounts for ~ 20% of all inpatient adverse events. A conservative estimate of 5% prevalence among ~ 141 annual ED visits extrapolates to 7 million diagnostic errors/year in the US. The ED is a complex environment associated with high diagnostic decision density where decision making occurs in information, time and resource constrained settings among patients with evolving illnesses. The pediatric ED is particularly challenging because of physiologic and developmental issues unique to children who are often treated at ED ill-equipped to manage them by providers who often lack adequate training and/or experience. This talk is designed to expand understanding of the complex diagnostic decision making process in a very challenging environment and highly amenable to various types of research including health services research.
Dr. Mahajan is the Vice-Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. He also serves as the Section Chief of Children’s Emergency Services at C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI. He is a tenured Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics. He serves as the Chair, Section of Emergency Medicine for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). He completed his PEM fellowship in 2002 and received his MPH in Health Management and Policy and an MBA in healthcare. His research interests include infectious diseases (evaluation and management of febrile infants) including development of clinically meaningful decision rules in the evaluation of febrile infants, inflammation (asthma, sepsis) as well as clinical decision making in a cognitively dense acute care setting.