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Title The Evaluation of Clinical Predictions -- A Method and Initial Application
Author(s) Alan R. Shapiro, MD
Source NEJM, Vol. 296, No. 26, Pages 1509-1514
Publication Date June 30, 1977
Abstract Clinical predictions are never certain but are inherently probabilistic. The accuracy coefficient, a measure of probabilistic accuracy based on probability assigned to outcomes that occur, was used to assess the skill of clinical rheumatologists in predicting patient outcomes. Physicians' scores correlated well with degree of clinical experience. An approach to evaluation based on the measure provides a sensitive assessment of marginal benefit of technologies such as laboratory tests, diagnostic procedures, or computer consultations. Most currently used methods of computer prediction were not as accurate as the best physicians tested. By allowing measurement of ability to individualize predictions to each patient's unique characteristics, the accuracy-coefficient approach has potential use in physician assessment.

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