Computers in Critical Care Decision Making

Author: Puneet Katyal

Preceptor: Richard Mathew Sailors, PhD

Committee Members: Craig W. Johnson, PhD; Kim Dunn, MD, PhD (co-author)

Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.

The practice of medicine especially in the present day world of evidence based medicine hinges heavily on clear defined clinical guidelines and protocols. Implementation of these protocols especially in the time sensitive field of critical care in turn depends on quick, efficient and accurate decision making tools. The use of standardized protocols has largely replaced the anecdotal practice of medicine. Computer assisted clinical decision making can play a major role in achieving these goals. This paper looks at key definitions and requirements in the filed of critical care clinical decision making using computers, the current state of the use of such tools, their acceptance, advantages, disadvantages and potential improvements in this field. This has been done by soliciting survey responses from different professionals connected to this field and then analyzing their responses to access the above mentioned aspects of this field.