Task uncertainty and rationality in medical problem solving

Leif Holmberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)



    Medical problem-solving situations are characterized by various degrees of 'task uncertainty'--i.e. uncertainty related to the definition of a problem, the effect of a technology, the value of a solution, and so on. The need for professional discretion varies and depends on the degree of perceived task uncertainty. SUGGESTED


    In this report it is argued that, in order to obtain rationality in problem-solving processes, differences in the degree of task uncertainty need to be met by variation in the structure of the health care organization.


    The main implications of this view are that (under norms of rationality) problem-solving processes with low task uncertainty must be organized in one way and processes with high task uncertainty in another. Furthermore, processes with high and low task uncertainty also need to be evaluated according to different standards. Some hypotheses regarding the different organizational requirements are presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)458-462
    Number of pages4
    JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy (30301)


    • clinical pathways
    • effectiveness
    • evidence-based medicine
    • organizational performance
    • problem solving
    • quality of care


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