Improving diagnostic decision support through deliberate reflection: A proposal

Henk G. Schmidt, Silvia Mamede*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Digital decision support (DDS) is expected to play an important role in improving a physician’s diagnostic performance and reducing the burden of diagnostic error. Studies with currently available DDS systems indicate that they lead to modest gains in diagnostic accuracy, and these systems are expected to evolve to become more effective and user-friendly in the future. In this position paper, we propose that a way towards this future is to rethink DDS systems based on deliberate reflection, a strategy by which physicians systematically review the clinical findings observed in a patient in the light of an initial diagnosis. Deliberate reflection has been demonstrated to improve diagnostic accuracy in several contexts. In this paper, we first describe the deliberate reflection strategy, including the crucial element that would make it useful in the interaction with a DDS system. We examine the nature of conventional DDS systems and their shortcomings. Finally, we propose what DDS based on deliberate reflection might look like, and consider why it would overcome downsides of conventional DDS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-42
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Early online date25 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 the author(s), published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston.


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving diagnostic decision support through deliberate reflection: A proposal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this