Satisfaction of search error

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Satisfaction of search (SOS) error is a common error in diagnostic radiology. It occurs when the reporting radiologist fails to continue to search for subsequent abnormalities after identifying an initial one. This initial detection of an abnormality satisfies the "search for meaning" and the reporting of the case is prematurely ended 1,2.

In emergency medicine, satisfaction of search errors are referred to as premature closure 3. This may entail identifying two or more totally independent pathologies or two or more findings which together take a case from a differential list to a definitive diagnosis.

Perceptual capture of attention

The theory that after one identifies an abnormality, a reader halts a search early, is only one of the many theories into how satisfaction of search errors occur. Studies have suggested that an initial captured lesion/abnormality may divert precise cognitive attention leading to perceptual errors rather than search errors 4

Article information

rID: 31220
Section: Approach
Tag: stub, error, stub
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • SOS errors
  • SOS error

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Cases and figures

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  • Case 7: fourth metacarpal fracture and dislocated fifth carpometacarpal joint
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  • Case 9: 4th and 5th metacarpal fractures
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