Incorporating metacognition into morbidity and mortality rounds: The next frontier in quality improvement

J Hosp Med. 2016 Feb;11(2):120-2. doi: 10.1002/jhm.2505. Epub 2015 Nov 3.


This Perspective proposes the introduction of metacognition (thinking about thinking) into the existing format of hospital-based morbidity and mortality rounds. It is placed in the context of historical movements to advance quality improvement by expanding the spectrum of the causes of medical error from systems-based issues to flawed human decision-making capabilities. We suggest that the current approach that focuses on systems-based issues can be improved by exploiting the opportunities to educate physicians about predictable errors committed by reliance on cognitive heuristics. In addition, because the field of educating clinicians about cognitive heuristics has shown mixed results, this proposal represents fertile ground for further research. Educating clinicians about cognitive heuristics may improve metacognition and perhaps be the next frontier in quality improvement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiac Tamponade / diagnosis
  • Decision Making*
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital
  • Metacognition*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Teaching Rounds / methods*