Quintessential: Accurate Diagnosis - The Art of Clinical Decision Making by Rahul Nautiyal

For a doctor to deliver best out of his clinical practice is to be able to understand what his patient's need and patient's ability to full fill them. Doctor serve that bridge between his patient's misery of pain and their ultimate long term goal. According to Jutel, diagnosis is a “pre-existing set of categories agreed upon by the medical profession to designate a specific condition”.

When a diagnosis is accurate and made in a timely manner, a patient has the best opportunity for a positive health outcome because clinical decision making will be tailored to a correct understanding of the patient’s health problem (Holmboe and Durning, 2014).

A step-wise, conceptual, process based diagnosis setting is the best form of practice.  Performing a clinical history and interview, conducting a physical exam, performing diagnostic testing, and referring or consulting with other clinicians are all ways of accumulating information that may be relevant to understanding a patient’s health problem.

Remember, setting up a final diagnosis cannot always be a one day affair. It may take days, weeks and sometimes even months also. The information-gathering approaches can be employed at different times, and diagnostic information can be obtained in different orders. The continuous process of information gathering, integration, and interpretation involves hypothesis generation and updating prior probabilities as more information is learned. Communication among health care professionals, the patient, and the patient’s family members is critical in this cycle of information gathering, integration, and interpretation.

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