A discussion about application of Bayes' theorem to diagnosis

Bob Latino blatino at RELIABILITY.COM
Wed Jan 3 12:21:35 UTC 2018


Thank you Dr. Bimal

This is helpful for me as a layman to understand traditional Bayes Theorem.

I think your argument applies to what I see in many HC related investigations of past undesirable outcomes.  When hypotheses are developed about how certain facts came to be, many in HC seem inclined to use a 'literature search' as a valid form of evidence to support any given hypotheses.

To me, a literature search merely provides an average of the experience of a population of others, and cannot confirm or refute the hypotheses in a single undesirable outcome (the focus of an investigation).  I can't see going to court and having my evidence be literature search results showing that in 7 out of 10 people, this XX was found to be a contributing factor.  Whatever the literature search revealed as a higher probability would still have to be validated that in this specific case, that it did indeed contribute to the bad outcome.

Not sure it's a like-for-like analogy, but in my world it appears to be:-)

Thanks for helping me clarify how Bayes Theorem works in theory and application.
Bob

Robert J. Latino, CEO
Reliability Center, Inc.
1.800.457.0645
blatino at reliability.com
www.reliability.com
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From: Jain, Bimal P.,M.D. [mailto:BJAIN at PARTNERS.ORG]
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 1:10 PM
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Subject: [IMPROVEDX] A discussion about application of Bayes' theorem to diagnosis

In this attached paper, I discuss application of Bayes 'theorem, as a mathematical relationship, to diagnosis, which is a process in the real world. This application is not correct, I argue, because the mathematical term, probability, does not correspond to evidence during diagnosis.
Please review and comment on this paper.
Thanks.

Bimal

Bimal P Jain MD
Northshore Medical Center
Lynn MA 01904.

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Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


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