• Clin Med Res · Dec 2015

    Review

    Understanding Decision Making in Critical Care.

    • Geoffrey K Lighthall and Cristina Vazquez-Guillamet.
    • Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California USA geoffL@stanford.edu.
    • Clin Med Res. 2015 Dec 1; 13 (3-4): 156-68.

    BackgroundHuman decision making involves the deliberate formulation of hypotheses and plans as well as the use of subconscious means of judging probability, likely outcome, and proper action.RationaleThere is a growing recognition that intuitive strategies such as use of heuristics and pattern recognition described in other industries are applicable to high-acuity environments in medicine. Despite the applicability of theories of cognition to the intensive care unit, a discussion of decision-making strategies is currently absent in the critical care literature.ContentThis article provides an overview of known cognitive strategies, as well as a synthesis of their use in critical care. By understanding the ways by which humans formulate diagnoses and make critical decisions, we may be able to minimize errors in our own judgments as well as build training activities around known strengths and limitations of cognition.© 2015 Marshfield Clinic.

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    This article appears in the collection: Decision Making in Anaesthesia & Critical Care.

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