Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Physicians who use DSS lose prestige in their patients eyes

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Nov• 12•08

Is it better for a physician to have more information or less?  Should physicians utilize diagnostic support systems (DSS) which base their recommendations on hundreds or thousands of data points or should they trust their gut instinct?  Most rational people would say that physicians should use DSS–not blindly–but as a tool to guide their decisionmaking.  Would a rational physician ever refuse DSS?

It turns out that physicians may be wise to refuse DSS assistance to build their reputation.  A study by Arkes, Shaffer and Medow (2007) found that patients believed that physicians who did not use DSS were more capable doctors than those who did.  “Patients may surmise that a physician who uses a DSS is not as capable as a physician who makes the diagnosis with no assistance from a DSS”

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