Diagnostic Errors: A Human Factors and Systems Engineering Approach

May 4, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Health System


In approaching the issue of diagnostic errors in healthcare, human factors and systems engineering recognizes that "diagnosis is a process, and that process is embedded in a system," said Pascale Carayon, PhD, professor of industrial and systems engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison, speaking April 29, 2016, at the Wisconsin Society for Healthcare Risk Management's spring conference. A member of the committee that published the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) 2015 report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, Carayon noted that the report used a patient-centered definition of diagnostic error: "the failure to (a) establish an accurate and timely explanation of the patient's health problem(s) or (b) communicate that explanation to the patient.

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