April 8, 2021
Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tools help healthcare providers decide care based on information in a patient’s electronic medical record. They warn professionals of potential problems and help with routine tasks at point-of-care.
Among CDS alerts are remote patient monitoring, patient compliance, prescription alerts and patient medication cooperation. All these tools improve patient care, which leads to numerous benefits.
No physician wants to make a mistake. They want to give the best care possible. With CDS tools, doctors have access to a patient’s medical records at point-of-care. They will be alerted to any potential issues, allergies or medication interactions. Often, this information is buried in electronic medical records.
CDS tools alert the doctor to any “silent deterioration.” An example of this would be sepsis, which might not otherwise be detected. If a patient’s white blood cell count is slowly rising and they have a fever and hypotension, a CDS alert could help indicate potential sepsis.
These types of hospital-induced infections cost $845 million per year, according to a study published in The Quarterly Journal for Health Care Practice and Risk Management. They also increase mortality and length of stay.
CDS alerts also help reduce unnecessary or duplicate testing. A comprehensive report of the patient’s medical record allows medical providers to see what diagnostics they’ve had or need. It also saves the insurance companies and patients money from extra, errant testing.
It also helps reduce a patient’s stay in a hospital and readmission. With a reduced visit, patients’ chances of infection decrease. It is also essential the patient gets good care after they leave the hospital. With access to their EHR and the CDS alerts, doctors can provide the best, informed care.
This is huge for patients, as it’s an extra line of defense. It’s a safety net. It is a security system.
With the additional safety net of CDS Tools, doctors can make even more informed decisions on a patient’s care. They will also have an extra set of eyes on a patient’s medical records, so important information will be brought to a doctor’s attention. For patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, CDS alerts the provider of any potential non-compliance.
These tools can also be used to follow clinical guidelines set by regulatory agencies. Some forms of CDS tools such as remote patient monitoring provide financial reimbursement for patient outcomes, and CDS tools will be crucial to this work for patients and providers.
Practices will have to provide for the initial cost of implementation. Commercial systems will cost more but are more made-ready. Practices can also use personal computers, the internet, handhelds and other devices.