Decision Rules

A decision rule is a decision-making tool combining fixed history and physical examination items and/or a simple diagnostic test used for explicit application to a clinical decision. Although many decisions about management of patients are accurately made on the basis of clinical judgment, some decision making can be improved through application of a standardized decision rule that has been developed and tested through a rigorous evidence-based process. Implementation of a rule can bring greater certainty to the clinician about the course of action to follow given a particular patient presentation, or it may lead to an improved ability to predict the probability of disease.

A decision rule is developed in a systematic process, using prospective studies often involving large numbers of patients, to meet an outcome ...

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