Using value of information to guide evaluation of decision supports for differential diagnosis: Is it time for a new look?

R. Scott Braithwaite, Matthew Scotch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: Decision support systems for differential diagnosis have traditionally been evaluated on the basis of criteria how sensitively and specifically they are able to identify the correct diagnosis established by expert clinicians. Discussion. This article questions whether evaluation criteria pertaining to identifying the correct diagnosis are most appropriate or useful. Instead it advocates evaluation of decision support systems for differential diagnosis based on the criterion of maximizing value of information. Summary. This approach quantitatively and systematically integrates several important clinical management priorities, including avoiding serious diagnostic errors of omission and avoiding harmful or expensive tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Decision support
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Value of information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy

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