Clinical decision making (also referred to as clincial reasoning) is a skill that healthcare students must learn during their studies and then further develop in clinical practice. This process involves the use of clinical knowledge to gather and integrate information from various sources to ultimately lead to a diagnosis and a management plan for patients. 

Inadequate clinical decision-making ability is one of the main causes of cognitive errors in patient care, poses a threat to patient safety and can lead to unnecessary pain, treatment or procedures for patients and an increase in healthcare costs.

Despite the importance of this topic for medical personnel and patient safety, there is a lack of structured, clear teaching, learning and assessment approaches covering clinical thinking during health care profession training.

Close the training gap

To close this training gap, an EU-wide project has been launched by the University of Augsburg (lead university; head of the overall project: Inga Hege), University of Bern (Sören Huwendiek, IML, Felicitas Wagner, IML, Isabelle Steiner, Paedriatic accident & Emergency), Jagiellonen University Kraków, University of Maribor, University of Örebro, Instruct gGMBH (www.instruct.eu) and Digital Education Holdings Ltd, Malta. The project aims to design, develop, evaluate and disseminate a curriculum for clinical decision-making and to develop a train-the-trainer course for lecturers. Optimal learning should be achieved through a combination of online and classroom teaching. In order to facilitate the dissemination and use of the new curriculum, it can be adapted to existing curricula, which should make it easier for both curriculum planners and lecturers to gradually integrate it. 

The IML is pleased to participate in this important project.