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Error and Mental Reflection
  • Roger Coe Eddy
Roger Coe Eddy
Roger Coe Eddy MD
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Abstract

This is a preliminary report of an small interdisciplinary study focusing on the application of self-directed reflective thinking for individuals interested in exploring how to think about mistakes and errors. I am deeply indebted to William Gore PhD, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Washington, Meryl Tsukiji, MA of Collective Concerns who participated in the weekly discussions, and Erik Samuel Eddy who field tested tools in the community and assisted in internet design and editing. Many others have contributed by using our tools either as participants in independent studies or by anonymous reports. Their suggestions have been invaluable. Originally we worked exclusively studying medical errors. These errors can result in significant mortality, morbidity and disability outcomes that are both identifiable and quantifiable. Extensive and expensive administrative, clinical, and research efforts have been applied to efforts to reduce the prevalence and incidence of medical mistakes. These efforts have been applied to hospitals, clinics and large medical groups. However, the overall reduction of error has been disappointing as increasing technical complexity, and frequent modifications in medical practices and changing administrative priorities complicate initiatives to produce desired improvement.