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Jacky Hooftman PhD candidate

Clinical reasoning

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My PhD research at Amsterdam UMC (VUmc) is focused on the decisions that physicians make during the diagnostic process. We want to know where suboptimal decisions occur, what their causes are, and which risk factors exist. To reach this goal, we are conducting a record review with prospectively included patients, supplemented with an interview with involved clinicians. As part of this study, we are also interested in the experience of the patient during the diagnostic process.

In addition, I am conducting an experiment on the effects of time pressure on diagnostic reasoning, and performing an in depth analysis of serious adverse event reports from emergency departments in Dutch hospitals. Furthermore, I am collaborating with other iMERR-members on several research projects.


In 2018 and 2019 I have worked with Laura Zwaan on setting the research agenda for diagnostic safety. We used a systematic method that allowed us to involve many stakeholders, including but not limited to: clinicians, patient safety organisations, and funders. During this project, we worked together with international groups of researchers and patient advocates and organised several meetings in the USA. This was an amazing experience that has resulted in a distilled list of research topics that can move the diagnostic safety field forward.

My main motivation is making health care safer. With my research I hope to fill current knowledge gaps to better understand why diagnostic errors happen and how we can support, train, or help physicians to decrease these errors.

I am always open to discuss diagnostic error and related topics such as patient safety and clinical reasoning.


Overview of Jacky's publications: click here