Decision Analysis as a Basis for Medical Decision Making: The Tree of Hippocrates
Physicians have developed a number of implicit and explicit approaches to complex medical decisions. Decision analysis is an explicit, quantitative method of clinical decision making that involves the separation of the probabilities of events from their relative values, or utilities. Its use can help physicians make difficult choices in a manner that promotes true patient participation. Decision analysis also provides a framework for the incorporation of data from multiple sources and for the assessment of the impact of uncertain data on the final decision. Although this approach is imperfect, it represents a significant advance in clinical decision making.
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