Advances in Health Sciences Education

, Volume 14, Supplement 1, pp 107–112

Next steps: envisioning a research agenda



The topic of diagnostic error is a relatively new one in the academic arena and lacks an organized research agenda. Participants at “Diagnostic Error in Medicine— 2008” formally considered this issue and provided initial suggestions. Recommendations were made to standardize taxonomies and definitions, especially in regard to what constitutes a delay in diagnosis. Error discovery needs emphasis, especially with autopsies becoming a rarity. Developing standardized tools to study diagnostic error in laboratory-like conditions was viewed as a top priority. Many issues were reviewed in regard to error generation (what conditions are error-prone, what is the role of the clinicians expertise, etc.), and error reduction. These included both system-level and cognitive interventions, with specific suggestions for each dimension.


Health care quality Patient safety Diagnostic error Research 


  1. Battles, J. B., & Shea, C. E. (2001). A system of analyzing medical errors to improve GME curricula and programs. Academic Medicine, 76, 125–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berner, E. S., & Graber, M. L. (2008). Overconfidence as a cause of diagnostic error in medicine. American Journal of Medicine, 121, S2–S23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Croskerry, P. (2003). Cognitive forcing strategies in clinical decision making. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 41, 110–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Graber, M. L., Franklin, N., & Gordon, R. R. (2005). Diagnostic error in internal medicine. Archives of Internal Medicine, 165, 1493–1499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hofer, T. P., & Hayward, R. A. (2002). Are bad outcomes from questionable clinical decisions preventable medical errors? A case of cascade iatrogenesis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 137, 327–333.Google Scholar
  6. Kohn, L., Corrigan, J. M., & Donaldson, M. (1999). To err is human; building a safer health system. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  7. Mamede, S., Schmidt, H. G., & Rikers, R. (2007). Diagnostic errors and reflective practice in medicine. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 13, 138–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Pronovost, P. J., Thompson, D. A., Holzmueller, C. G., Lubomski, L. H., & Morlock, L. L. (2005). Defining and measuring patient safety. Critical Care Clinics, 21, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Reason, J. (1990). Human error. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Singh, H., Petersen, L. A., & Thomas, E. J. (2006). Understanding diagnostic errors in medicine: A lesson from aviation. Quality & Safety in Health Care, 15, 159–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wears, R. L., & Schiff, G. D. (2005). One cheer for feedback. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 45, 24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VA Medical CenterNorthportUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineSUNY at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

Personalised recommendations