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Decision Support

Decision support promotes clinical care that is consistent with scientific evidence and patient preferences by embedding evidence-based guidelines within daily clinical practice, sharing guidelines and information with patients to encourage participation, using proven provider education methods, and integrating specialist expertise and primary care.

In particular, clinical decision support systems can be used to provide clinicians with patient-specific assessments or recommendations to aid clinical decision making.1

For example, care reminders can be attached to patient charts, manually or with a computer-based system, when specific preventive care services are needed. In addition, computerized physician order entry systems can provide patient-specific recommendations as part of the order entry process in the form of alerts. Such systems have been shown to improve prescribing practices, reduce serious medication errors, enhance the delivery of preventive care services and improve adherence to recommended care standards.

On a practical level, the findings imply that clinicians and other health care stakeholders should implement clinical decision support systems that provide decision support automatically as part of clinician workflow, deliver decision support at the time and location of decision making, provide actionable recommendations and use a computer to generate the decision support.1

References

1. Kawamoto K, Houlihan CA, Balas EA, Lobach DF. Improving clinical practice using clinical decision support systems: A systematic review of trials to identify features critical to success. BMJ. 2005;330(7494):765.

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