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Invited Commentary
March 2018

Risk, Complexity, Decision Making, and Patient Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Office of Strategic Business Development and Partnerships, Jefferson Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA Surg. 2018;153(3):208. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.3930

The ability of health care practitioners to provide accurate data to patients and their families about clinical care of a disease state with regard to cure, complications, and recurrent disease is complex. Patients differ in terms of, for example, their age, sex, ethnicity, comorbidities, and social status, and diseases vary in terms of their extent, severity, and natural history. Therapies also have variable outcomes; those in the surgical domain often depend on factors such as operator and hospital volume, nursing ratios, and associated system characteristics.