Medical Knowledge Explication

We work together with a practizing physician, Dr. Peter Lanzer, who is an expert in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Most scientific work in this area concentrates on making statistical statements about the relative benefits of competing interventional approaches, for instance stenting as opposed to plain ballon angioplasty. While such results are important and useful, there is another factor that is of immense importance for the success of such interventions and that is not currently investigated scientifically: the decision-making expertise of the operator.

During a PCI, an operator has to make quick assessments of complex situations about which only limited and potentially misleading information is available and where interventional steps may have results very different from what was expected. Understanding what steps to take when and how to assess the relative risks and potential benefits involved in various alternatives is today commonly learned partially by trial-and-error and partially (at least in some cases) by mentoring received from experienced operators.

However, there is no knowledge about how experts can best access and conceptualize their (mostly tacit) knowledge in order to transfer it to beginning and intermediate interventionists. We are working on concepts, terminology, and knowledge bases to improve this situation. The ultimate goal is a complete training regime with two goals:
  1. Maximizing the speed of learning with which beginning and intermediate interventionists progress to expert status.
  2. Making the PCI decision-making state-of-the-art available in explicit form in order to advance the state-of-the-practice.

Our publications in the area:
  • (vascuproc), (vascuproc2): A conceptual description of the interventional decision-making process, focussing on the notion of risk.
  • in work: A discussion of the pros and cons of the various strategies for deciding when to use and when not to use a stent
  • in work: A conceptualization of the intervention-planning and -replanning process and the knowledge base used by expert interventionists.


Topic revision: r1 - 07 Dec 2007, LutzPrechelt
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