27 November 2013

COGNITIVE BIASES AND HOW TO AVOID MEDICAL ERRORS

As a new ED department head, Dr. Croskerry questioned what was behind errors made by very competent ED physicians. Digging deeper, he discovered psychology research from 1975 that showed cognitive biases had been the cause of erroneous decision-making.

In the stressful environment of the emergency department, physicians may rely too heavily on intuitive thinking and miss details that would have been discovered in analytical observation. Dual process theory states that both processes are required for accurate decision-making.

A patient’s symptoms may not indicate what is actually needed. That is why medical schools are using actors to simulate various scenarios as an effective method for training physicians to make sure all necessary information has been gathered. Read how medical schools are giving future physicians better decision-making tools. http://journals.lww.com/em-news/Fulltext/2013/11000/Breaking_News__Under_Pressure___Dual_Process.3.aspx