Decision Making

Structured decision making techniques are designed to help teams avoid the types of errors covered in section two of this package (pattern recognition, types of error, etc) and encourage conscious thinking in difficult or high risk situations.

Decision making can be:

  1. Analytical / conscious
  2. Pattern Recognition / unconscious – most commonly used, (~80%) becomes more common with experience, because more patterns to compare
  3. Rule based


High risk situations

High risk clinical scenarios

Pattern recognition


  • Critique your own reasoning
  • Think beyond favoured diagnosis
  • Reassess when new information arrives


Memorise the STARR acronym and use it when you need to make a decision.



ASSESS (clinical information)

RESPOND (advice about what to do next)

REVIEW (is it working? Was that the correct decision?)