Clinical decision-making: heuristics and cognitive biases for the ophthalmologist


      Diagnostic errors have a significant impact on health care outcomes and patient care. The underlying causes and development of diagnostic error are complex with flaws in health care systems, as well as human error, playing a role. Cognitive biases and a failure of decision-making shortcuts (heuristics) are human factors that can compromise the diagnostic process. We describe these mechanisms, their role with the clinician, and provide clinical scenarios to highlight the various points at which biases may emerge. We discuss strategies to modify the development and influence of these processes and the vulnerability of heuristics to provide insight and improve clinical outcomes.


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