Reducing Diagnostic Errors

Sandra Gittlen, October 1, 2016

A look at how healthcare organizations are improving diagnostic accuracy.

A look at how healthcare organizations are working to improve diagnostic accuracy.

This article first appeared in the October 2016 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital, and the University of Colorado School of Medicine are collaborating on an initiative to better understand and address the problem of diagnostic errors across their organizations. In addition to addressing the first-stage remedies of better communication of results and better handoffs in transition of care, the three institutions are now focusing on the issue of cognitive bias.

"We know that as providers, when our brains are thinking fast, we are prone to bias. Our hypothesis is that we can teach ourselves to also think slowly, and try to avoid anchoring and other cognitive biases that can lead to diagnostic errors and delays," says Daniel Hyman, MD, MMM, chief medical and patient safety officer at Children's Hospital Colorado, a private, nonprofit pediatric health network with over 3,000 pediatric specialists.

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