UTHealth Houston researcher awarded over $5M to study and improve the diagnostic process in clinics to prevent errors

By Courtney Saenz, UTHealth Media Relations
June 23, 2023

Improving the diagnostic process and preventing errors are the focus of two studies funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and led by Eric Thomas, MD, associate dean for health care quality with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.

Both grants were funded through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of HHS.

The first grant for $1.3 million centers on improving the follow-up diagnostic process for patients whose lab results showed anemia or reduced kidney function. Both results can often point to an underlying condition that requires additional evaluation to identify or diagnose a potentially serious disease, or whether an adverse drug reaction is present. Identifying patients with abnormal lab results and connecting them to a clinical pathologist and a nurse navigator can allow for communication with the patient’s primary physician and additional testing to discover what the lab results mean. This can result in early diagnosis and prevention of emergency room visits or hospitalization.

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