The new diagnostic team

Diagnosis (Berl). 2017 Nov 27;4(4):225-238. doi: 10.1515/dx-2017-0022.


The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in the recently issued report Improving Diagnosis in Health Care outlined eight major recommendations to improve the quality and safety of diagnosis. The #1 recommendation was to improve teamwork in the diagnostic process. This is a major departure from the classical approach, where the physician is solely responsible for diagnosis. In the new, patient-centric vision, the core team encompasses the patient, the physician and the associated nursing staff, with each playing an active role in the process. The expanded diagnostic team includes pathologists, radiologists, allied health professionals, medical librarians, and others. We review the roles that each of these team members will need to assume, and suggest "first steps" that each new team member can take to achieve this new dynamic.

Keywords: diagnosis; diagnostic error; teamwork.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Diagnostic Errors / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Physician's Role*