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Johns Hopkins to study how to better diagnose disease

Johns Hopkins Medicine has opened a research center to study ways to improve how doctors diagnose disease.

Johns Hopkins Medicine has opened a research center that will look at ways to improve how doctors diagnose disease.

The new Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence will be led by Dr. David Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology and otolaryngology–head and neck surgery, and an internationally recognized leader in diagnostic research.

The center was made possible by a $5 million gift from C. Michael Armstrong, former chairman of the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins Medicine and retired chairman of the boards of Comcast, AT&T, Hughes Electronics and IBM World Trade Corporation. Armstrong also provided funding five years ago for the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, which works to reduce infections and errors hospitals.

Hopkins hopes research at the new center will lead to reduced errors in diagnosing disease.

Studies have found that errors in diagnosis are made in two million patient cases a year. At least one-third of these errors lead to permanent injuries, including disability or death.

"Misdiagnosis is incredibly frequent because medicine is incredibly hard. There's uncertainty, complexity and incomplete information all the time," Newman-Toker said in a statement. . "But we can do better than we're doing right now, and our new center will lead change to make that a reality."

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