As the death toll from COVID-19 rapidly increases, the need to make a timely and accurate diagnosis has never been greater. Even before the pandemic, diagnostic errors (i.e., missed, delayed, and incorrect diagnoses) had been one of the leading contributors to harm in health care. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to increase the risk of such errors.
Based on emerging literature and collaborative discussions across the globe, Gandhi and Singh propose a new typology of diagnostic errors of concern in the COVID-19 era. These errors span the entire continuum of care and have both systems-based and cognitive origins. While some errors arise from previously described clinical reasoning fallacies, others are unique to the pandemic. We provide a user-friendly nomenclature while describing eight types of diagnostic errors and highlight mitigation strategies to reduce potential preventable harm caused by those errors.