A well-controlled, meticulous process has a far higher probability of resulting in a high quality of medical care than improvization and unstructured creativity. Algorithms display decision-making treatment processes and problem-solving strategies by giving clearly defined and formalized guidelines. The flow chart for decision-making follows the yes/no dichotomy of binary logic. The systematic ordering of decision points and consequent actions is guided by medical priority and thus regulates the time-frame and sequence of each single step in a logical manner. With the help of clinical algorithms highly complex processes such as the management of the severely injured patient can be translated into a clearly structured, logical pathway. Clinical algorithms represent scientifically recognized treatment rules, indicate a solution for solving problems and help users to organize ideas and recognize connections. They delineate a consistent and valid guideline, while allowing deviations in proven exceptions. The use of algorithms allows a systematic search for errors in the process of quality management. In emergency situations they suggest a structured means of problem solving for the less experienced user. Algorithms are useful instruments in the teaching of medical decision-making.