“Doctors are constantly being told that they overdiagnose and overtreat their patients. They are told that they overdiagnose and overtreat a range of conditions—but one simple example is the overdiagnosis of bacterial upper respiratory tract infections. We urge doctors not to overmedicalise and not to overprescribe antibiotics. But then when a diagnosis is missed or a patient develops complications from an untreated infection, doctors are the first to be blamed. Is it any wonder that they feel they are in a no-win situation?

Until now most of our efforts to help doctors have focused on education to help them get their diagnosis and management strategies just right—without under or overdoing it. Clinical decision support aims largely to do the same thing. But Islam et al have suggested an interesting new direction in their study that seeks to understand complex clinical reasoning in infectious diseases—with the aim of improving clinical decision support design.”

More on Too much medicine—practical tools that could help by Kieran Walsh via TheBMJ.

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