Clinical decision support systems are designed to improve health and healthcare delivery by enhancing health-related decisions and actions.
CDS does this by providing clinicians, staff, or patients with clinical knowledge and patient-specific information, which is intelligently filtered or presented at correct times. This helps them to make an informed decision quickly and to take action. A simple example would be a drug warning for a patient; if a doctor inputs a medication order for their patient a window would come up stating that the patient has a possible allergy to that type of drug.
CDS incorporates a variety of tools to help more effective decision-making in the clinical workflow. These tools include computerized alerts or reminders to care providers and patients; clinical guidelines; condition-specific order sets; patient data reports and summaries; documentation templates; diagnostic support, and contextually relevant reference information, plus many other tools.
Clinical Decision Support Systems are not intended to replace a clinician’s judgment, but rather to provide tools to assist care team members in making timely, informed, and higher quality decisions.
Why Use Clinical Decision Support Systems?
CDS has a number of important benefits, including:
- Increased quality of care and improved health outcomes
- Avoidance of errors and conflicting events
- Improved efficiency in health care delivery
- Reduce the risk of medication errors and misdiagnosis
- Improved cost-benefit, patient safety, and provider and patient satisfaction