Diagnostic errors account for almost 60 percent of all medical errors and an estimated 40,000-80,000 deaths per year. Three clinical conditions – cancer, acute cardiovascular events, and sepsis – provide a useful lens for exploring these pre-hospital diagnostic delays. 

The burden of these conditions falls disproportionately on communities of color and on populations in underserved urban and rural communities. These disparities manifest in worse outcomes and greater than average severity at the time of diagnosis for some populations,  suggesting that delays are also more common among these populations. Because cancer, acute cardiovascular events, and sepsis have relatively effective treatments when caught early enough, minimizing the time to diagnosis after the onset of symptoms is fundamental to high-quality care.

Call for Proposals

AcademyHealth in partnership with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is funding health services research projects to expand the base of rigorous evidence about pre-hospital diagnostic delays – i.e., those that occur before a patient reaches the care setting where their condition is diagnosed. This call for proposals will fund innovative studies that expand our understanding of the causes of pre-hospital diagnostic delays or provide evidence about promising strategies to reduce them.

More information on pre-hospital diagnostic delay is available in this recent issue brief from AcademyHealth and a meeting summary from "Decoding the Signal from the Noise: Building the Evidence Base to Prevent Pre-Hospital Diagnostic Delays".

Key Dates:

Webinar for Potential Applicants: Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Call for Proposals opens: Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Brief proposals due: Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Applicants notified if they are (or are not) invited to submit full proposals: Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Full proposal submission deadline: Friday, June 30, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Commissioned Papers


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Allison Isaacson, M.P.H.

Senior Manager - AcademyHealth

Allison Isaacson is a Senior Manager at AcademyHealth where she is responsible for managing projects to enhanc... Read Bio

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Jackson Foyle

Research Assistant - AcademyHealth

Jackson Foyle is a Research Assistant at AcademyHealth. He supports the Funders’ Coalition through administrat... Read Bio