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Comput Programs Biomed. 1979 Jan;9(1):95-102.

Evaluating the performance of a computer-based consultant.


The performance of a computer-based clinical consultation system is evaluated. The program, called MYCIN, is designed to function as an aid for infectious disease diagnosis and therapy selection, with an initial emphasis on bacteremias. The evaluation methodology is discussed, as well as the difficulties encountered in attempting to evaluate clinical judgments. Specialists in infectious diseases judged MYCIN's final therapy recommedation, and intermediate conclusions about the significance of the infection and identity of infecting organisms. The evaluation techniques described may be useful in assessing the performance of other clinical decision aids. Results of the evaluation show that the program's therapy recommedations meet Stanford experts' standards of acceptable practice 90.9% of the time (table 2), with some variation noted both among individual experts and between Stanford experts and others (tables 1, 2).

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