CoMind Lab

Improving diagnoses by understanding the collaborative and cognitive processes of medical teams

The CoMind lab is part of the Diagnostic Quality Lab at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) with a Starting Grant to Dr. Juliane Kämmer (project number TMSGI1_218047). Our research group seeks to provide a clearer understanding of how decision-making in medical diagnostics and other high-risk areas can be improved to help enhance diagnoses in the long term.

Incorrect medical diagnoses are unfortunately common and some of them can have serious consequences for patients. However, there is a limited understanding of the circumstances under which such errors occur and of how effective collaboration within the diagnostic team can help prevent them.

We are specifically interested in better understanding diagnosis as a team-based activity. For example, we investigate the interplay between cognitive and collaborative processes and how to best time team phases during the diagnostic process. For this, we engage in a continuous dialogue with practitioners to get input for our (basic) research and develop output (such as trainings) that is valuable for practice.

We rely on a wide array of methods, ranging from behavioral experiments, simulations, meta-analyses, and ethnography. We leverage theoretical approaches from a variety of disciplines and collaborate with an international interdisciplinary network.

 

Publications

5 key publications

Freytag, J., Stroben, F., Hautz, W. E., Schauber, S. K., & Kämmer, J. E. (2019). Rating the quality of teamwork—a comparison of novice and expert ratings using the Team Emergency Assessment Measure (TEAM) in simulated emergencies. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 27, 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13049-019-0591-9

Hautz, W. E.*, Kämmer, J. E.*, Schauber, S. K., Spies, C. D., & Gaissmaier, W. (2015). Diagnostic performance by medical students working individually or in teams. JAMA, 313, 303–304. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2014.15770

Hautz, W. E., Kämmer, J. E., Hautz, S. C., Sauter, T. C., Zwaan, L., Exadaktylos, A. K., Birrenbach, T., Maier, V. Müller, M., & Schauber, S. (2019). Diagnostic error increases mortality and length of hospital stay in patients presenting through the emergency room. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 27, 54. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13049-019-0629-z

Kämmer, J. E., Ernst, K., Grab, K., Schauber S. K., Hautz, S. C., Penders, D., & Hautz, W. E. (2024). Collaboration during the diagnostic decision making process: When does it help? Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 37, e2357. https://doi.org/10.1002/bdm.2357

Seelandt, J. C., Boos, M., Kolbe, M., & Kämmer, J. E. (2023). How to enrich team research in healthcare by considering five theoretical perspectives. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1232331. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1232331

Team

Juliane Kämmer (Principal Investigator)

Juliane Kämmer is Assistant Professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Bern funded by an SNSF Starting Grant. In her research on team decisions under uncertainty and diagnostic quality, she combines theories and methods from psychology, cognitive science and medical education research. Her research provides insights that aim to lead to better team decisions, such as in the form of better medical diagnoses.

Juliane is co-leader of the Diagnostic Quality Lab and a member of the Virtual Inselspital Simulation Lab at the University of Bern. In addition to the Starting Grant funding, Juliane has received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme to study team decision making under uncertainty (No. 894536, “TeamUp”). She has also received funding as a co-applicant from the BeLEARN Association to develop an interprofessional team training in virtual reality.

She obtained her PhD in psychology from the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Human Development in 2013. Trained as a psychologist, she has taught and mentored students of various disciplines including psychology, medicine, nursing education and economy at various German universities and the MPI for Human Development. From 2020 until 2022, she conducted research as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Bern. In 2023, she transitionally held the Chair of Social and Communication Psychology at the University of Göttingen.

Links: Google Scholar, X, Inselspital, LinkedIn

Download: Full CV, Publication list

Postdoc
We are currently hiring.

PhD candidates
Lara Morscheck will be a PhD candidate at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Bern, Switzerland. 
From the beginning of her bachelor's degree in psychology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, she has worked in various research departments and has been able to experience the collaboration of 
different teams. For example, she worked as a student assistant for two well-known group researchers, Prof. Margarete Boos and Prof. Stefan Schulz-Hardt, and gained first-hand insights into group research (https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1038262). In the course of her studies and with increasingly valuable insights and experiences, she specialized in researching group processes and developed a particular 
interest in group decisions under uncertainty. 
She is currently in the final stages of her Master's degree in Psychology. Her PhD project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the protective and hindering effects of teamwork during medical diagnosis. 

Collaborations

National collaborations
Prof. Dr. Wolf Hautz
Prof. Dr. Thomas Sauter
PD Dr. Tanja Birrenbach
Prof. Dr. Tanja Manser (FHNW)
Dr. Nadine Bienefeld-Seall (ETH Zürich)

International collaborations
Prof. Dr. Laura Zwaan (Erasmus MC, Rotterdam)
Prof. Dr. Silvia Mamede (Erasmus MC, Rotterdam)
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gaissmaier (University of Konstanz)
Prof. Dr. Olga Kunina-Habenicht (TU Dortmund University)
Prof. Dr. Stefan Schauber (University of Oslo)
Dr. Stefan Herzog and Dr. Ralf Kurvers (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)
Prof. Dr. Markus Feufel (Technische Universität Berlin)

News

August 2024: Official kick-off of the CoMind lab

November 2023: The CoMind lab receives funding from the SNSF as a Starting Grant to Dr. Juliane Kämmer. https://data.snf.ch/grants/grant/218047