Changes in diagnostic decision-making after a computerized decision support consultation based on perceptions of need and helpfulness: a preliminary report.
We examined the degree to which attending physicians, residents, and medical students' stated desire for a consultation on difficult-to-diagnose patient cases is related to changes in their diagnostic judgments after a computer consultation, and whether, in fact, their perceptions of the usefulness of these consultations are related to these changes. The decision support system (DSS) used in this study was ILIAD (v4.2). Preliminary findings based on 16 subjects' (6 general internists, 4 second-year residents in internal medicine, and 6 fourth-year medical students) workup of 136 patient cases indicated no significant main effects for 1) level of experience, 2) whether or not subjects indicated they would seek a diagnostic consultation before using the DSS, or 3) whether or not they found the DSS consultation in fact to be helpful in arriving at a diagnosis (p > .49 in all instances). Nor were there any significant interactions. Findings were similar using subjects or cases as the unit of analysis. It is possible that what may appear to be counter-intuitive, and perhaps irrational, may not necessarily be so. We are currently examining potential explanatory hypotheses in our ongoing current, larger study.
Wolf, FM; Friedman, CP; Elstein, AS; Miller, JG; Murphy, GC; Heckerling, P; Fine, P; Miller, T; Sisson, J; Barlas, S; Capitano, A; Ng, M; Franz, T
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