EM1701C "Recognizing Cognitive Bias and Diagnostic Error: Improving Patient Safety" (IM GR-011317)

Diagnostic Error has been identified as a major issue in patient safety.  Diagnostic errors can cause harm to patients by preventing or delaying appropriate treatment or by providing unnecessary or harmful treatment. The Institute of Medicine's 2015 report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, focuses on this patient safety concern. Cognitive bias frequently contributes to diagnostic error in primary care, and hospitalized settings. This presentation will describe common cognitive biases, and propose solutions for improved internal medicine care delivery to minimize diagnostic error.

Target Audience

UT Southwestern faculty, fellows, residents and medical students, community physicians, nurse clinicians, physician assistants and nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  • State the incidence of diagnostic error
  • Distinguish between Systems and Cognitive errors that contribute to diagnostic Error
  • List and define at least 3 cognitive biases common in the in-patient setting
  • List at least 3 questions that practitioners can ask themselves to minimize diagnostic errors
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Joan M. Von Feldt, M.D., MSEd
Professor of Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
Ray A. and Robert L. Kroc Lectureship in Rheumatology

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA


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