TableĀ 2

Cognitive factors contributing to diagnostic errors

Contributory factorNumber of errors (%) (N=317)Example
Faulty information verification130 (41.0)Premature closure occurred in a patient who presented with generalised weakness. He was thought to have the diagnosis of coronary ischaemia and laboratory testing to check for hypopotassaemia was not ordered until much later
Faulty information processing97 (30.7)There was misinterpretation of diagnostic clinical data in a patient with known renal disease who presented with hypotension. The care team initially suspected overdiuresis, but the patient actually had sepsis
Faulty data gathering61 (19.2)Patient presented with a lesion on the back, which was missed by the initial care team. He was later discovered to have an extensive infection
Faulty knowledge29 (9.1)A patient presented with hip pain and was found to have negative hip X-rays. He was later discovered to have distal femur fracture (which sometimes can cause referred hip pain) on knee X-rays.