Can Citizens Improve Patient Diagnosis?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 by | Posted In: Medical Malpractice

citizen juryIs it possible that laypeople with zero medical knowledge can help in diagnosing sick patients? Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the Jefferson Center, and the Society to Improve Diagnostic Medicine think so. This project has formed “citizen juries” to have informed deliberation and make recommendations for action on various social issues.

The juries are comprised of people in the Syracuse, New York metro area that are selected at random to represent local demographics. These groups of 20-100 people meet in person for a few days to discuss a particular topic.

The first group of 50 citizens met in August 2015 in Syracuse. Everyone who participated engaged in a half day educational presentation. Twenty-five participants were dismissed after the educational components. The other 25 participants served as the citizen jury. They went on for another two and a half days to sit in on more presentations. At the end of this three-day facilitated deliberation, the jury made preliminary recommendations on improvement areas. In November 2015, the group of 25 met again and issued recommended actions patients can take to reduce diagnostic errors and how to work within the current healthcare system.

Another citizen jury began deliberations in February 2016. In the near future, a report will be issued on their findings.

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