Pharmacy education needs to address diagnostic safety

Mark L. Graber, Gloria R. Grice, Louis J. Ling, Jeannine M. Conway, Andrew Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and the Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education frame patient safety from the perspective of medication management, which is also the current focus of pharmacy education and training. With the growing appreciation that diagnostic errors represent an urgent and actionable patient safety concern, the National Academy of Medicine has recommended diagnostic safety training for all health care professions. The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine has worked with an interprofessional consensus group to identify a set of 12 key competencies necessary to achieve diagnostic quality and safety that focuses on individual, team-based, and system-related competencies. Much of this already exists in pharmacy education, but pharmacy training programs need to give graduates more guidance on how they contribute to the diagnostic process and the prevention and detection of diagnostic errors. We describe the current state of progress in this regard, and what steps are needed by training programs to provide content and assessment so that graduates achieve the requisite competencies. Governing and advisory bodies need to expand the expectations around patient safety to include diagnostic safety. Keywords: Interprofessional, diagnosis, educational competency, diagnostic error, patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7442
Pages (from-to)1179-1188
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019


  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic error
  • Educational competency
  • Interprofessional
  • Patient safety

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