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Making a diagnostic checklist more useful.

I read with interest Dr. Hickner's editorial, "How to avoid diagnostic errors" (J Fam Pract. 2014;63:625), and was fascinated by the diagnostic checklists developed by John Ely, MD, which are available at www. improvediagnosis.org/ resource/resmgr/docs/ diffdx.doc.

On his checklists, Dr. Ely suggests the material could be adapted for use on a handheld device, so I decided to convert Dr. Ely's checklists from Microsoft Word to a PDF with hyperlinks so they would be easy to view on most tablets and smartphones. I kept the content exactly the same, but formatted each diagnostic problem as a "header," which became the table of contents. Each of these table of contents headers is hyperlinked, so a user can simply tap on the item in the table of contents and jump to the correct page ("card") in the document.

After converting Dr. Ely's checklists to a PDF, I found them easy to use on both an iPhone and Google tablet.

Thank you again, Drs. Ely and Hickner, for your work in this area.

E. Chris Vincent, MD

Seattle, Wash

Dr. Vincent is one of the assistant editors for Clinical Inquiries, a monthly column in The Journal of Family Practice.

Dr. Hickner's list of 7 ways to avoid diagnostic errors was excellent. I would augment his sixth tip ("Follow up, follow up, follow up, and do so in a timely manner") with something we tell all of our patients: "Keep me informed via our online portal." When patients have such easy access to communication with their physician, the diagnostic process is greatly enhanced.

Joseph E. Scherger, MD, MPH

Rancho Mirage, Calif

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Title Annotation:LETTERS
Author:Scherger, Joseph E.; Vincent, E. Chris
Publication:Journal of Family Practice
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2015
Words:272
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