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Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2018 Feb;15(Supplement_1):S53-S56. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201706-449KV.

Human Cognitive Limitations. Broad, Consistent, Clinical Application of Physiological Principles Will Require Decision Support.

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Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Our education system seems to fail to enable clinicians to broadly understand core physiological principles. The emphasis on reductionist science, including "omics" branches of research, has likely contributed to this decrease in understanding. Consequently, clinicians cannot be expected to consistently make clinical decisions linked to best physiological evidence. This is a large-scale problem with multiple determinants, within an even larger clinical decision problem: the failure of clinicians to consistently link their decisions to best evidence. Clinicians, like all human decision-makers, suffer from significant cognitive limitations. Detailed context-sensitive computer protocols can generate personalized medicine instructions that are well matched to individual patient needs over time and can partially resolve this problem.


decision support; human cognitive limitation; information overload

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