Computer Programs To Support Clinical Decision Making

Reference: Shortliffe, E. H. Computer Programs To Support Clinical Decision Making. Knowledge Systems Laboratory, Medical Computer Science, 1987.

Abstract: This paper was written for submission to the Journal of the American Medical Association on behalf of the SCAMC, Inc., sponsor of the Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care. Computer programs to assist with medical decision making have long been anticipated by physicians with both curiosity and concern. This article summarizes the current status of computer-based medical decision support, the goals of the system developers, the reasons for slow progress since the field began almost 30 years ago, and the logistical and scientific challenges that lie ahead. I emphasizes in particular that decision-support programs are intended to serve as tools for trained practitioners who retain ultimate responsibility for determining diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

Notes: 23 pages.

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