Following on from the earlier post on Google diagnosis I have come across a paper using the Isabel system. The paper Diagnostic omission errors in acute paediatric practice: impact of a reminder system on decision-making is available as a provisional PDF. This gave the following results and conclusion:

Results: Subjects attempted to access the diagnostic aid on 595 occasions during the study period (8.6% of all medical assessments); subjects examined diagnostic advice only in 177 episodes (30%). Senior House Officers at hospitals with greater number of available computer workstations in the clinical area were most likely to consult the system, especially out of working hours. Diagnostic workups construed as ‘unsafe’ occurred in 47/104 cases (45.2%); this reduced to 32.7% following system consultation (McNemar test, p<0.001).

Conclusions: We have shown that junior doctors used a Web-based diagnostic reminder system during acute paediatric assessments to significantly improve the quality of their diagnostic workup and reduce diagnostic omission errors. These benefits were achieved without any adverse effects on patient management following a quick consultation.

A thought provoking article, especially given the recent debate surrounding the Google diagnosis story.

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