A recent tweet from the account of the QI Elves has added a new Rubber Duck to my consciousness and rather bizarrely it is related to my interest in Diagnostic Thinking. Is it possible that a rubber duck could reduce errors and improve patient safety?
The frailties of our cognition are long established and whilst it may not be possible, or even desirable, to have all clinicians thinking alike, we must acknowledge these faults inherent in human thinking and make deliberate efforts to mitigate them. What follows are six simple questions that attempt to trigger a more reflective process by diagnosticians and potentially reduce the impact of erroneous thinking.
Problem solving is a key part of what we do as doctors: that’s what the diagnostic process is. As seniors it is our responsibility to help teach this skill and train our junior colleagues in it but do we actually understand how our brains solve problems and how that might apply to our clinical practice?