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What is a Clinical Decision Support System?

August 28, 2022 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team


A clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) is a type of software system that helps a physician in decision-making by analyzing the patient's data.

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What is a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS)?

These are active knowledge-based systems with knowledge and person-specific information intelligently filtered and presented at appropriate times to enhance patient care. It includes:

  • Computerized alerts and reminders to providers and patients.
  • Clinical guidelines.
  • Condition-specific Order Sets.
  • Focused data reports and summaries.
  • Documentation templates.
  • Diagnostic support.
  • Contextually relevant reference information.

A clinical Decision Support System can be a standalone program or it can be a part of an Electronic Health Record System.

CDSS can utilize Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to analyze and identify patterns to provide detailed results that are useful for providing care.

What is the Purpose of a Clinical Decision Support System?

The main goal of a Clinical Decision Support System is to deliver - the right information, to the right person, at the right time, and at the right location - to improve decision-making.

Its main purpose is to aid patient care by enabling the analysis of patient data and using that information to help in formulating a diagnosis.

Purpose of a Clinical Decision Support System:

  • Assist in problem-solving with semi-structured problems.
  • Improve the effectiveness of the decision-making process.
  • Support clinical coding and documentation.
  • Authorize procedures and referrals.
  • Manage clinical complexity and details.
  • Monitor medication orders.
  • Avoid duplicate or unnecessary tests.

Benefits of a Clinical Decision Support System

  • Helps in clinical decision-making.
  • Reduces the risk of medication errors.
  • Reduces misdiagnoses.
  • Provides the entire care team with consistent, reliable information.
  • Improves efficiency and patient satisfaction.
  • Lowers costs and improves efficiency.
  • Improves the quality of care by discarding unnecessary tests, boosts patient safety, and avoids dangerous complications.

Additional areas where CDS can help:

  • Determine drug dosing calculations.
  • Pick up drug equation guidelines.
  • Alerts templates or order sets for specific diseases.
  • Analyze reportable preconditions based on EHR inputs.
  • Time-triggered reminders for medication delivery and dosage changes.
  • Analyze filtered information or provide educational material.

Barriers to Adoption of a Clinical Decision Support System

Here are some barriers to its adoption:

  • Stand-alone CDSS tools not integrated with EHR.
  • The CDSS knowledge base is not updated regularly.
  • Too many irrelevant alerts.

Summary

The basic idea behind the clinical decision support system is that they assist physicians and staff in the same way as the Enterprise support system helps business operation in an enterprise. In other words, the clinical decision support system can be seen as an assisting technology for delivering better patient experience and health outcomes.

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