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Table 5 Disease and task characteristics that influence uncertainty, and their manifestations in different clinical scenarios

From: Manifestations and implications of uncertainty for improving healthcare systems: an analysis of observational and interventional studies grounded in complexity science

   Pace of disease evolution Patient control over outcomes Standardized versus customized Routine versus non-routine Work-sharing interdependency
Clinical scenario Preventive care Less rapid or not applicable, leading to less immediate uncertainty May influence whether they access care More standardized, less uncertain More routine Not reliant on other tasks, less uncertainty
Chronic disease management Typically less rapid. Exacerbations may develop in acute, atypical ways Typically high, requiring patient adherence and engagement Standardized delivery of recommended chronic care. Exacerbation care may have standardized and customized elements More routine chronic care, exacerbation care may be routine and non-routine High interdependence among specialties and settings
Acute presentation of undiagnosed illness Typically rapid Lower Workups may be mix of customized and standard, though some processes of care may be standard Mixed Multiple providers involved in care who are reliant on each other, many handoffs
Sub-acute rehabilitation Typically slow, with need for vigilance for clinical change Varies Routine daily care Mixed Multiple providers and handoffs, but fewer than inpatient settings