Acting on the Decision

A decision analysis may influence decisions in different ways. It may simply be published, and readers will consider the analysis in forming policies and making future decisions. If the analysis recommends a strategy that differs from current "best practice,'' then, perhaps, what is considered "best practice'' will gradually change in response to the published decision analysis. Practice will change more quickly if professional organizations endorse the decision analysis or incorporate its results into their recommendations (Plante et al., 1986; Pauker and Kassirer, 1987). If the analysis was commissioned by an organization to serve as a basis for policy formulation, the change in practice may be more immediate. The impact of a decision analysis is the extent to which a particular decision or class of decisions come into alignment with the recommendations of the analysis.

The process of creating a decision model often identifies parameters that experts feel are critical for optimal decision

Expected Costs and Benefits for Two Decisions

Expected Costs and Benefits for Two Decisions

Boil Water Advisory Cost Per Person-Day (Dollars)

figure 29.7 The effect of varying the cost of boiling water advisory on the decision.

Boil Water Advisory Cost Per Person-Day (Dollars)

figure 29.7 The effect of varying the cost of boiling water advisory on the decision.

making but for which existing information is either incomplete or completely unavailable. In our example, the recommended decision was sensitive to the cost of a boil-water advisory and the efficacy of an advisory. The identification of gaps in existing knowledge may influence funding agencies or organizations to sponsor research to fills the gaps.

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