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Crit Care. 2001 Oct;5(5):249-54. Epub 2001 Sep 13.

Rational use of computerized protocols in the intensive care unit.

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LDS Hospital and University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, USA.


Excess information in complex ICU environments exceeds human decision making limits, increasing the likelihood of clinical errors. Explicit decision-support tools have favorable effects on clinician and patient outcomes and can reduce the variation in clinical practice that persists even when guidelines based on reputable evidence are available. Computerized protocols used for complex clinical problems generate, at the point-of-care, patient-specific evidence-based therapy instructions that can be carried out by different clinicians with almost no inter-clinician variability. Individualization of patient therapy is preserved by these explicit protocols since they are driven by patient data. Computerized protocols that aid ICU decision-makers should be more widely distributed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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