Sharing ideas on Risk, Human Performance, Teams and Leaders

Pat Croskerry

Decision Making and human Error

Pat Croskerry MD, PhD is a Professor in Emergency Medicine at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. He holds a cross-appointment in the Faculty of Medical Education. In addition to his medical training, he holds a doctorate in Experimental Psychology and completed a Fellowship in Clinical Psychology. He has worked in the area of Patient Safety for the last 15 years. He established the first Canadian Symposium on Medical Error in 2001, which continued annually as the National Patient Safety Meeting (Halifax Series) until 2010. His research is principally concerned with clinical decision-making, specifically on diagnostic error. He is senior editor on a major text Patient Safety in Emergency Medicine published in 2009.

Most errors occur when thinking in an intuitive mode. Be aware of whether you are in intuitive or analytical thinking modes. It is important to reflect on your decision when thinking intuitively to ensure you are correct.