ACEP's Concern with AHRQ Report on Diagnostic Errors


Spreading misinformation about the safety of emergency care is irresponsible and dangerous, and ACEP is standing up for the specialty.

In early November 2022, ACEP reviewed a draft of a misleading report, Diagnostic Errors in the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review by Dr. David Newman-Toker, et. al., from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) mischaracterizing flawed diagnoses in emergency care. ACEP, along with eight other emergency medicine organizations formally rallied to push back on the flawed results found in the draft report and expressed our concerns directly with AHRQ. Despite our request that AHRQ not publish the findings due to the danger of misinformation to public health, the agency released the report in mid-December.

Unfortunately, mainstream media picked up the faulty study and ran sensational and inaccurate headlines around emergency care. ACEP has been in contact with mainstream and trade publications—including CNN and The New York Times—to explain that beyond the myriad issues there are with the methodology. We have also sounded the alarm on social media and prepared talking points to help members as they push back on the report.

ACEP stands with emergency physicians and will continue to stand against misinformation that endangers patients and harms our health care safety net.

"However, we also are deeply concerned that publishing this faulty document would have negative implications for both our current workforce and our future pipeline of emergency physicians, as well as the millions of people who seek emergency care in the U.S."

Multi-Organizational Letter Regarding AHRQ Report on Diagnostic Errors in the Emergency Department, December 14, 2022


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