MedStar Health Awarded New Contract for Improving Diagnostic Safety from AHRQ | MedStar Health

MedStar Health Awarded New Contract for Improving Diagnostic Safety From AHRQ

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Columbia, MD – MedStar Health has been awarded a contract by the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) to support AHRQ in developing additional capacity related to understanding and improving diagnostic safety. In addition to providing program support, MedStar Health will partner with Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, to develop novel resources, tools and programs aimed at reducing diagnostic errors and related patient harm.  The project will be led by Dr. Christine A. Goeschel, assistant vice president, MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety and director, Center for Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare and Dr. Hardeep Singh, chief, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program at the Houston VA Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety and professor of Medicine at Baylor.

“The National Academy of Medicine’s 2015 report, ‘Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare’ brought to light the stark reality that most of us will experience at least one diagnostic error in our lifetime, often with devastating consequences,” said Dr. Goeschel. “The report made several action-oriented recommendations to mitigate this risk. The creation of the MedStar Center for Improving Diagnosis is a testament to the organizational commitment to address this challenge. We are enthusiastic about this opportunity to support AHRQ’s longstanding efforts in diagnostic improvement and to work side by side with Dr. Singh and his colleagues in doing so.”

Drs. Goeschel and Singh will engage subject matter experts from across the country to help develop new approaches and resources aimed at improving diagnostic safety.  Select resources will include a TeamSTEPPS® module to enhance communication among providers related to diagnosis, a resource to engage patients and families in the diagnostic process and programs to guide clinicians and frontline quality and safety professionals in their diagnostic improvement efforts. The team, working closely with AHRQ, will rapidly synthesize, summarize and disseminate the results of their work.

“Over the past decade, key lessons from multidisciplinary research have emerged and informed next steps to reduce preventable harm. It is now time to translate this evidence to impact clinical practice and improve patient care, which makes this partnership very exciting,” said Dr. Singh, who also leads the Diagnosis Improvement Safety Center (DISCovery) at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. “This type of work can help lead us from a ‘Bronze Age’ of rudimentary tool development to a ‘Golden Era’ of patient safety improvement.”

The contract will be administered by the MedStar Health Research Institute in partnership with the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety and the Baylor College of Medicine. The MedStar Health diversified healthcare delivery system will provide an environment for researchers to work side by side with providers, patients, and administrators to understand real-world diagnostic challenges, and then work collaboratively improve diagnostic processes and outcomes.

Dr. Goeschel is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She was founder and first executive for the Keystone Center for Patient Safety and Quality at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and was the Michigan principal investigator on groundbreaking research to reduce bloodstream infections in intensive care units. A quality and patient safety researcher, she has led large-scale, national and international quality improvement projects.  Dr. Goeschel has served on the board of directors of the Maryland Patient Safety Center and was a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Committee that released the seminal report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care in 2015.


About MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety
The mission of the Medstar Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS) is to partner with patients, their families, and those that take care of them to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the global burden of preventable harm. Established by Medstar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MIQS provides a global infrastructure in which leaders, front-line care givers, patients and family members jointly develop, educate, assess, and advocate for patient safety and clinical quality initiatives. For more information, visit  

About MedStar Health
At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the lead Federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of America's health care system. AHRQ develops the knowledge, tools, and data needed to improve the health care system and help Americans, health care professionals, and policymakers make informed health decisions.

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