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September 21, 1979

Antimicrobial Selection by a Computer: A Blinded Evaluation by Infectious Diseases Experts

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, Calif. Dr Yu is now with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1979;242(12):1279-1282. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300120033020

An evaluation of a computer-based consultation system called MYCIN was made. Eight independent evaluators with special expertise in the management of meningitis compared MYCIN's choice of antimicrobials with the choices of nine human prescribers for ten test cases of meningitis. MYCIN received an acceptability rating of 65% by the evaluators; the corresponding ratings for acceptability of the regimen prescribed by the five faculty specialists ranged from 42.5% to 62.5%. The system never failed to cover a treatable pathogen while demonstrating efficiency in minimizing the number of antimicrobials prescribed. The study design may be useful in assessing the performance of other computer-based clinical decision-making systems.

(JAMA 242:1279-1282, 1979)