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Safer Dx team

Progress toward reducing diagnostic errors hinges upon our ability to overcome several unique measurement-related challenges, including operationally defining diagnostic error in real-world settings. Compounding these challenges is the fact that diagnostic errors typically emerge across multiple episodes of care. 

The compelling need for real-world evidence to demonstrate how we can measure and address diagnostic safety has led to the creation of the “Safer Dx Learning Lab.” Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Geisinger and Baylor College of Medicine have come together to form this unique learning health system, a first of its kind, that takes a systematic approach to learn how health care systems can enhance the safety and accuracy of the diagnostic process. The multidisciplinary “Committee to Improve Clinical Diagnosis” at Geisinger advises and works closely with the Safer Dx Learning Lab.

This collaboration was initiated by Hardeep Singh, MD an international expert on patient safety and health IT issues based out of Baylor College of Medicine and the Houston VA Medical Center and Dennis Torretti, MD, associate CMO and chairman emeritus of the Division of Medicine at Geisinger. The initiative brings together Dr. Singh’s extensive research experience in this area and the motivated operational and clinical leadership at Geisinger to provide a significant opportunity to impact the field. 

Geisinger has harnessed a wealth of electronic data and will leverage this data to provide actionable information to improve clinical diagnostic quality. Baylor will build upon previous work in diagnostic safety and, along with Geisinger, will use a multidisciplinary, sociotechnical approach to improve measurement and feedback of diagnostic errors.

Leadership

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Dennis Torretti, MD

Dennis Torretti, MD, is the Associate Chief Medical Officer of the Geisinger Medical Center and chairman emeritus of the Division of Medicine at Geisinger. He is the executive sponsor of the Safer Dx Learning Lab and chair of the Committee to Improve Clinical Diagnosis. Since May 1996, as chairman of medicine, he was responsible for the delivery of clinical services, new program development, strategic planning, quality and innovation, clinical research, and residency and fellowship training within the Division of Medicine. He joined Geisinger in 1978 as a rheumatologist. Since that time, he has served in multiple roles within the organization and has been the recipient of several awards for teaching and clinical excellence.

Dr. Torretti established a diagnostic error workgroup at Geisinger in early 2015 and has since passionately pursued improving the diagnostic process at Geisinger. His vision for this initiative includes developing approaches that will provide feedback to providers, facilitate learning and reduce missed opportunities in making timely and accurate clinical diagnosis.


Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH

Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, the Director, Houston DISCovery (Diagnosis Improvement Safety Center) and Chief, Health Policy, Quality and Informatics Program, Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is the principal investigator of the Safer Dx Learning Lab. He leads a diverse portfolio of patient safety research in improving the use of health IT and reducing diagnostic errors in health care. His multidisciplinary work has informed several health care delivery improvement initiatives and policy reports, including from the National Academy of Medicine, AMA, ACP, NQF, CDC, and WHO. In 2014, he received the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Obama for high-impact research.

Dr. Singh leads a multi-disciplinary research team at Baylor. For more information about the team and their research, please visit:  https://www.bcm.edu/departments/medicine/sections-divisions-centers/health-services-research/research/safer-dx

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Benjamin Hohmuth, MD, MPH

Benjamin Hohmuth, MD, MPH, is the Chief Medical Informatics Officer and a practicing hospitalist at Geisinger. He is Co-Investigator of the Safer Dx Learning Lab. His interests include blood management, clinical reasoning, and usability of the electronic health record.  He did his internal medicine training at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital and obtained an MPH in health management from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He is a member of the Information Technology Committee of the Society for Hospital Medicine of which he is a senior fellow, and also provides service to the American Board of Internal Medicine.

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Yatin Mehta, MD

Yatin Mehta, MD Associate, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine is Co-Investigator of the Safer Dx Learning Lab. He holds board certification in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine and Neuro-Critical Care Medicine. He completed his training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Maimonides Medical Center where he was also Chief Fellow. He joined Geisinger in 2009 and is dedicated to improving efficiency and safety of the health care delivery system. His interests include Sepsis and ARDS management, Interstitial Lung diseases, sarcoidosis and critical care outcomes research.

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Conrad Schuerch, MD

Dr. Conrad Schuerch is the Chairman Emeritus of Geisinger’s Department of Laboratory Medicine. He has practiced pathology for 37 years at Geisinger and was instrumental in developing an integrated laboratory service across the widely distributed clinics and hospitals of Geisinger’s health system. He led his department in quality programs development beginning in 1999. Members of his department have created a number of unique informatics tools to improve quality, such as the QA Tracker which “crowd sources” for defects in the complex multistep procedures of diagnostic anatomic pathology, providing real time corrective feedback and trend analysis.

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Patricia J Lamphear, RN, MSA, JD, CPHRM

Patricia J Lamphear, RN, MSA, JD, CPHRM, is the Director for Clinical Risk and Patient Safety for Geisinger. She is an advisor to the Safer Dx Learning Lab and works closely with the Safer Dx quality coordinator. She joined the system in 2006 and in her current role, within the Division of Quality and Safety, she is responsible for oversight of clinical risk management and collaborates closely with the Legal Services Department. She also oversees patient safety, including compliance with Pennsylvania mandatory reporting requirements and analysis of adverse events.

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Amit Behari Bansal, MD

Amit B Bansal MD, MBA is Director of Hospital Medicine, Central Region at Geisinger in Danville, PA. He is also Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Dr. Bansal is actively involved in house staff education and is involved with multiple hospital committees on inpatient throughput, quality of care and physician engagement. He also serves on Society of Hospital Medicine Hospital Quality and Patient Safety Committee. He completed his internal medicine residency at Robert Packer Hospital and his MBA from University of Massachusetts. He is Certified Physician Executive with the American Association of Physician leaders.

Geisinger team

Divvy Upadhyay, MD, MPH

Divvy Upadhyay, MD, MPH, is the Researcher-in-Residence and Co-Investigator of the Safer Dx Learning Lab and scientist in the Division of Quality and Safety at Geisinger. He acts as a catalyst for the operations team, works closely with the CICD, secures ongoing buy-in from stakeholders, helps run the lab on-site and assists in investigation and evaluation of the research initiatives. Prior to this, he spent five years in Washington, D.C. doing health policy research and analysis after obtaining an MPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has worked with Health Affairs as the Senator Lister Hill Fellow and as a research associate at the Urban Institute where he analyzed physician payment policy, the Affordable Care Act and diagnostic errors among other health care issues. He is a member of the research and policy committees of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.

Jennifer Hunt, BSN, RN, RNFA

Jennifer Hunt, BSN, RN, RNFA, is Quality Coordinator for the Safer Dx Learning Lab. She coordinates institutional data and the partnership with risk management. Jennifer graduated from the Geisinger School of Nursing and later obtained a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Jacksonville University. She joined Geisinger in 1987 in revenue control and has worked in different departments as a nurse since then. Prior to her current role, she was regional manager for care coordination for GMC's Emergency Department and served as neurotrauma program coordinator. Currently she is pursuing her Master of Science in nursing informatics from American Sentinel University.

Saritha Korukonda, MD, MS

Saritha Korukonda, MD, MS, is the Project Manager for the Safer Dx Learning Lab and the Department of Investigator-Initiated Research Operations at Geisinger. She coordinates project management activities and patient experience data. Saritha earned her medical degree from the Medical University of Pecs in Pecs, Hungary and a Master's degree in management of aging services from University of Massachusetts Boston. Since joining Geisinger's Henry Hood Center for Health Research in 2013, she has worked as a research assistant and coordinator for various institutes within the health system. Prior to her current role, she worked within the Office of Clinical Research Operations on several clinical trials.