Prevention of Diagnostic Error in Primary Care


Diagnostic errors occur often in primary care settings and can impact over 12 million outpatients annually. This is a top patient safety concern and a global burden. Significant patient harm can occur due to treatment delay, testing, or misdiagnosis. This course is an opportunity to promote awareness and visibility by identifying where these errors occur most often in the diagnostic process of care framework. Examples of some best practices for the diagnostic process involves a timely and accurate diagnosis, patient engagement, effective system processes, active follow up, and communication. The information in this course will focus heavily on prevention strategies related to the primary care setting.

Course ID #: TDE 200827.0 Issue Date: 12/16/2020 Expiration Date: 12/16/2024


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Apply understanding of the 12-Step diagnostic process of care framework and determine where contributing factors exist in your primary practice setting to effectively recognize and implement appropriate improvement strategies
  • Identify the top 5 areas of concern in the diagnostic framework and promote awareness within the practice to select and implement effective improvement strategies
  • Identify and implement improvement strategies in the practice to decrease the risk of diagnostic error in a primary care setting


No individual in a position to control or influence the content of this activity has reported relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. No commercial support was provided for this activity.


The information and guidelines contained in this activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. We recommend that legal advice be obtained from a qualified attorney for specific application to your practice. The information is intended for educational purposes and should be used as a reference guide only.

Course Developers

Leslie J. Castaneda, MSHA-HCQA,BSN, RN, Healthcare Quality & Risk Consultant, The Doctors Company

Jeffrey A. Gold, MD., Oregon Health and Science University, Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine, Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, School of Medicine

Robbin Wessels, MBA, BSN, RN, CPHRM, Assistant Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Johanna Lackner, MPH, MSW, Senior Director, Continuing Professional Development, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Continuing Education Credit

The Doctors Company is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical educational activities for physicians.

The Doctors Company designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Complies with State Requirements

Please SEE the Federation of State Medical Boards overview of Continuing Medical Education requirements by State. 

Technical Requirements

The activity is best experienced using the most current browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported by this platform. All activities featuring audio must have a speaker. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, JavaScript and session cookies must be enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact or call 800.421.2368, extension 1243.


Visit our Resource document for this program.