Clinical Decision Support Systems for ‘Making It Easy to Do It Right’

Clinical Decision Support Systems for ‘Making It Easy to Do It Right’

Anne-Marie Scheepers-Hoeks (Catharina Hospital, The Netherlands), Floor Klijn (Catharina Hospital, The Netherlands), Carolien van der Linden (Catharina Hospital, The Netherlands), Rene Grouls (Catharina Hospital, The Netherlands), Eric Ackerman (Catharina Hospital, The Netherlands), Niels Minderman (Catharina Hospital, The Netherlands), Jan Bergmans (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands) and Erik Korsten (Catharina Hospital and Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0975-4.ch015
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Abstract

Medical guidelines and best practises are used in medicine to increase the quality of the health-care delivery system. To support implementation and application of these guidelines, clinical decision support systems (CDSS) have been developed. These systems are defined as ‘Computer-based information systems used to integrate clinical and patient information and provide support for decision-making in patient care’ (MeSH) These are integrated with so-called Electronic Health Records (EHR), which have been developed by companies and National Governmental Institutes, and are used to register and present the patient medical data. The integration of an EHR with CDSS modules will revolutionize the way medicine will be practiced. In pediatrics, as well as geriatrics, such systems might prove to be even more needed. The development, use, and maintenance of CDSS in a hospital are complex and far from trivial. This chapter focuses on several aspects and challenges of EHR’s and CDSS-modules in daily clinical practice in the hospital.
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Background

Mack, Wheeler & Embi (2009) reviewed the use of a CDSS in the pediatric intensive-care unit (pp. 23-28). They defined CDSS as computer software programs that support healthcare providers in their clinical decision making. Once used solely for diagnostic support, nowadays many CDSS have the ability to transform clinical practice by providing interactive assistance based on therapeutic best practices. The recent emphasis on improving quality and patient safety by using electronic patient records (as supported by Leapfrog and other agencies) has also encouraged an increase in the use of CDSS tools. CDSS tools linked to electronic patient records can extend the quality and safety largely in comparison to stand-alone electronic patient records. CDSS are of particular interest in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) where rapid decision-making benefits from tools that can improve patient safety. CDSS have been described in the NICU with varying effects on healthcare outcomes (Mack, Wheeler & Embi, 2009).

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