Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations Ethics Man

How good a doctor do you need to be?

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 21 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7858

Re: How good a doctor do you need to be?

One aspect that I haven't yet seen tested in medicine is at what point would a doctor be considered negligent if he or she hadn't used a readily available and validated tool that, if used, could have changed the patient's outcome significantly? It may actually be the institution that employed the doctor that should be found culpable for not providing its clinicians with the necessary tools to do the job properly.

I am thinking, in particular, of the many modern clinical decision support or information tools that are now available but often either not available to or used by the clinician.

My own company produces a diagnosis checklist system which is validated, has been on the market for many years and is now even available as an app for as little as £1.99 that could save many patients from a delayed diagnosis. When could a patient reasonably expect a clinician to be considered negligent for not using these tools?

Competing interests: CEO and Founder of Isabel Healthcare which produces a diagnosis checklist system

23 November 2012
Jason Maude
Isabel Healthcare
Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 1AE