Advances in medicine bring new imaging, technologies, medications, and the desire to have better prediction models for clinical outcomes. Physicians, researchers, and other members of healthcare teams are now in the unique position to utilize medicine’s foundation: the history and physical exam, combined with advanced medical technologies to predict future clinical events and outcomes with improved accuracy.
Using medical algorithms as clinical prediction tools, physicians can apply evidence-based medicine to assist in decision making. Medical algorithms can also help to predict future medical events.
A 67 year old male with recently diagnosed cirrhosis has a follow up visit with his gastroenterologist after a recent endoscopy. Using serum laboratory evaluations and findings on the upper endoscopy, the gastroenterologist can use models to Predict the Time to the First Variceal Hemorrhage in a Patient with Cirrhosis.
While speaking with the family of a patient in the ICU after a trauma, an ICU fellow or attending can discuss the prediction of outcome in trauma patients with the family. Displaying empathy, providing the best care, and utilizing evidence-based resources, the ICU team can foster an open dialogue with family members during very stressful and difficult times.
A 48-year old female is seen by her primary care physician for complaint of involuntary 10kg weight loss and a few non-specific symptoms. A complete history and physical exam combined with targeted laboratory data assists her family physician in predicting her probability for an underlying malignancy. This probability helps the physician to determine whether further imaging, laboratory evaluation, or a specialist referral would be clinically indicated.
There are hundreds of clinical prediction algorithms available via medicalalgorithms.com and the iOS app. Physicians, medical researchers, and other members of the healthcare team can utilize these tools to better care for patients and make improved clinical decisions regarding treatment and evaluations.
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