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Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality

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Center for Diagnostic Excellence

A growing body of evidence shows that diagnostic errors are the most common, catastrophic and costly of all medical errors. They are difficult to identify and often go unrecognized until it is too late. The science of diagnostic safety and quality remains underdeveloped and underfunded.

The Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence was borne out of a need to address this dangerous and costly problem. Housed in the Armstrong Institute and led by Dr. David Newman-Toker, a world leader in diagnostic error research, the center plans to eliminate preventable patient harms from diagnostic errors.

The center, which is the first of its kind in the world, provides a unique, collaborative, transdisciplinary environment for clinicians, researchers, engineers and data experts to work together to tackle the challenges of medical misdiagnosis.

The Impact of Diagnostic Errors

Diagnostic errors will likely touch each of us in our lifetimes.

  • An estimated 12 million Americans are affected each year, and perhaps one-third are harmed as a result.
  • These errors may account for 40,000 to 80,000 preventable deaths annually in U.S. hospitals.

Though appropriate use of diagnostic tests can help combat diagnostic errors and add value to patient-centered care, more testing alone will not deliver diagnostic value. The costs of advanced diagnostic tests are spiraling upward faster than any sector of the health care industry, and inappropriate overuse of diagnostic tests will only multiply the costs. Diagnostic error and diagnostic test overuse are global problems requiring bold, innovative solutions.

View "Diagnosis as a Team Sport" Presentation

Center for Diagnostic Excellence Director, Dr. Newman-Toker, discusses the benefits of diagnostic teamwork, how to involve other health care professionals and patients as critical members of the diagnostic team, and the barriers to diagnostic teamwork in this one hour webinar.


safety summit poster session with two women.

Diagnostic Excellence Summit 
Register today to reserve a seat at the first Diagnostic Excellence Summit on April 20, 2017. For Johns Hopkins employees only.

ICS impulse exam

Center Initiatives
Read how the center's first major initiative aims to reduce stroke misdiagnosis at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Newman-Toker speaking on CBS news segment

News and Publications
See where the center's experts have been published and featured.

Get Involved

Want to join a core group? Interested in becoming a partner? Have ideas for new initiatives? Contact us at