Monday, June 1, 2009
The Evolution of Clinical-Decision Support Systems
Modern computer-based clinical-decision support systems (CDSS) help physicians (and other healthcare professionals) make better treatment decisions. Doctors now have access to some powerful resources that can help them improve their diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. In the "old days," physicians didn't have access to computers or the Internet. Today, the world of medicine is so different because of advances in medical and computing technology. CDSS continue to evolve as new evidence-based guidelines emerge and clinical studies point to new ways to treating diseases.
The integration of a robust CDSS into an electronic health record (EHR) allows clinicians to apply evidence-based principles at the "point of care." Medicine isn't dictated by algorithms, formulas, and charts, but clinicians need an efficient way to stay updated as they make clinical decisions. At the same time, we don't want clinicians to become dependent on a CDSS, because then they won't be practicing the "art" of medicine and they'll rely too much on computers (which can make mistakes). It's exciting to see how the world of CDSS is evolving. Speaking of CDSS, I heard that Chris Dillon was named the managing director for the clinical-decision support group of Elsevier Health Sciences. Congratulations Chris!