Episode 34: Diagnostic Error Part 2—Systems
In Episode 32 of Pomegranate Health, we discussed cognitive error in diagnostic reasoning. On this episode, we take a look at systems pressures that increase the likelihood of medical error, crystallised by the recent prosecution of U.K. National Health Service (NHS) paediatrician Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba. Almost half of diagnostic errors are due to a combination of systems errors and individual cognitive error. Obvious systems effects come into play in understaffed acute care units; if a clinician is forced to see too many patients without enough time to make careful examinations or reasoned decisions, errors become more likely. The stepping stones of ordering, receiving and reviewing diagnostic tests and scans also allow much opportunity for error and delay. Guests on this episode discuss mechanisms to improve efficiency.