Mortality and morbidity rounds (MMR) in pathology: relative contribution of cognitive bias vs. systems failures to diagnostic error.


Background Heuristics and cognitive biases are thought to play an important role in diagnostic medical error. How to systematically determine and capture these kinds of errors remains unclear. Morbidity and mortality rounds (MMRs) are generally focused on reducing medical error by identifying and correcting systems failures. However, they may also provide an educational platform for recognizing and raising awareness on cognitive errors. Methods A total of 49 MMR cases spanning the period 2008-2015 in our pathology department were examined for the presence of cognitive errors and/or systems failures by eight study participant raters who were trained on a subset of 16 of these MMR cases (excluded from the main study analysis) to identify such errors. The Delphi method was used to obtain group consensus on error classification on the remaining 33 study cases. Cases with