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J Biomed Inform. 2011 Jun;44(3):486-96. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2010.01.001. Epub 2010 Jan 20.

Intra-operative decision making: more than meets the eye.

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Northwestern University, Department of Surgery, Chicago, IL, USA.


Operating room teams consist of team members with diverse training backgrounds. In addition to differences in training, each team member has unique and complex decision making paths. As such, team members may function in the same environment largely unaware of their team members' perspectives. The goal of our work was to use a theory-based approach to better understand the complexity of knowledge-based intra-operative decision making. Cognitive task analysis methods were used to extract the knowledge, thought processes, goal structures and critical decisions that provide the foundation for surgical task performance. A triangulated and iterative approach is presented.

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