What Are Clinical Decisions Support Tools?
What Are Clinical Decision Support Tools?
According to HealthIT.gov, CDS is a combination of evidence-based knowledge and patient-specific data, which is filtered intelligently and dispensed to care providers. The tools are incorporated as part of the EHR system, and they utilize a variety of activities to enhance decision-making during the clinical workflow process, including:
Computerized Alerts and Care Reminders
The EHR system may have built-in pop-up alerts to provide warnings, or remind the practitioner of actions that should be taken.
In cases requiring chronic care management, CDS tools can provide support for multi-step care plans that extend over longer periods of time. The physician can review evidence-based guidelines and recommendations, and view potential care pathways at the appropriate time for each affected patient. This information leads to increased documentation efficiency, which supports better long-term care decisions.
Condition-Specific Order Sets
Patient-focused data reports and summaries better enable the physician to choose from alternative care paths when treating specific conditions.
These templates can help busy providers ensure that relevant data is collected and charted to help in the decision-making process. Patient notes and physician insights can help to track symptoms, bring out the need for routine tests or lab reports, and provide an accurate record of care provided.
Diagnostic Support Tools
While physicians have a great deal of academic and practice knowledge on which to base a diagnosis, the pressure of office workflow sometimes means that a particular symptom or care indicator is overlooked. CDS can incorporate tools to provide contextually relevant reference information, which can aid in the diagnostic process.