Introduction: Most contemporary 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) devices offer computerized diagnostic proposals. The reliability of these automated diagnoses is limited. It has been suggested that incorrect computer advice can influence physician decision-making. This study analyzed the role of diagnostic proposals in the decision process by a group of fellows of cardiology and other internal medicine subspecialties. Materials and methods: A set of 100 clinical 12-lead ECG tracings was selected covering both normal cases and common abnormalities. A team of 15 junior Cardiology Fellows and 15 Non-Cardiology Fellows interpreted the ECGs in 3 phases: without any diagnostic proposal, with a single diagnostic proposal (half of them intentionally incorrect), and with four diagnostic proposals (only one of them being correct) for each ECG. Self-rated confidence of each interpretation was collected. Results: Availability of diagnostic proposals significantly increased the diagnostic accuracy (p <0.001). Nevertheless, in case of a single proposal (either correct or incorrect) the increase of accuracy was present in interpretations with correct diagnostic proposals, while the accuracy was substantially reduced with incorrect proposals. Confidence levels poorly correlated with interpretation scores (rho ≈ 2, p
Bibliographical noteCompliant in UIR; evidence uploaded in 'Other files'
- computerized diagnostic proposals
- decision making
- electrocardiogram interpretation
- decision support systems