The time-efficiency principle: time as the key diagnostic strategy in primary care

Greg Irving, John Holden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The test and retest opportunity afforded by reviewing a patient over time substantially increases the total gain in certainty when making a diagnosis in low-prevalence settings (the time-efficiency principle). This approach safely and efficiently reduces the number of patients who need to be formally tested in order to make a correct diagnosis for a person. Time, in terms of observed disease trajectory, provides a vital mechanism for achieving this task. It remains the best strategy for delivering near-optimal diagnoses in low-prevalence settings and should be used to its full advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-9
Number of pages4
JournalFamily Practice
Volume30
Issue number4
Early online date27 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Continuity of Patient Care/standards
  • Diagnostic Services/standards
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Primary Health Care/methods
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Symptom Assessment/methods
  • Time Management/organization & administration

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