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Infusing Technology into Clinical Decision Making

Jun 4, 2021

Clinical decision-making is a core element of healthcare practices. It is a multidimensional process of obtaining, interpreting, and combining multiple data sources, supporting those data with empirical analysis and clinical expertise, and delivering actionable judgments. It is majorly a goal-driven action geared towards accomplishing specific and assessable outcomes, such as symptom reduction or improvements in co-occurring issues. Clinical decision-making is generally supported by a conventional Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) software.

Clinical Decision Support (CDS)

CDS intends to enhance care quality, bypass errors or adverse events, and enable care team members to be more efficient. They are valuable tools that provide the clinician with targeted information regarding a specific patient/situation. They are often combined into the electronic health record (EHR) to streamline workflows and accounts for existing data sets.

CDSSs are known for their contribution to the clinical decision-making process, e.g., reduces medication error rates, developments in antibiotic use, advancements in drug dosing and preventive care, augmentations of quality care and cost minimalization.

Herein, there are listed a few technological innovations infused into the clinical decision-making process.

Documentation Forms and Templates

A well-designed visit template permits a clinician to dictate or type a narrative note into the subjective part of the template while managing structured data entry appropriately for other segments. The template renders a series of soft prompts to make sure essential information is covered.

Once a clinician has comprehended the hand-eye coordination for templates, they can complete charting in the exam room and implement structure to the surgical encounter. There are additional template designs for particular situations, such as preventive exams or procedures. Multidisciplinary teams become more complicated in sharing care and charting templates designed to support all care team members in the future.

Relevant Data Presentation

Most current EHR data display tools are characterized as graphs or flow sheets. These tools work to group and display complex data visually, so it makes sense at a glance. It also highlights problems requiring attention or reveals significant patterns over time. EHR tools support the working clinician in both fast and slow types of thinking. They can develop the accuracy and effectiveness of intuitive reasoning so that the user can quickly ascertain that everything is in order. At the same time, a well-designed data presentation makes predicaments both easier to spot and less hard to solve.

Order/Prescription Creation Facilitators

CDS uses embedded prompts into the prescriptions that help the referring clinician ensure that details are in order. Many orders contain multiple facets, including documenting the decision, arranging a place in the chart for the results to be entered, and connecting the decision to a diagnosis and a billing code. CDS reduces the risk of errors that often result in waste and patient safety issues.

The use of medications has increased dramatically over the past several decades, creating a challenge for clinicians and patients. Many symptoms and abnormal findings may be caused by medications a patient is using. This finding usually demands the clinician to research uncommon side effects. These medication-related challenges force the busy clinician to stop and look up information, much of which could be superintended as CDS into the EHR to be available on demand.

Alerts and Reminders

Unlike the other CDS tools, which are most efficient when tailored to either fast or slow thinking, the meaning of alerts is to disrupt thinking and force clinicians to exercise effort in response to data that is likely to have been overlooked. Alerts are to decrease unnecessary disruption by introducing ways to respond without backing out and navigating to some other screen.

Protocol Pathway Support

Each diagnostic problem necessitates a clinician to narrow down the patient’s symptoms, physical findings, and test outcomes to identify patterns among a background of unessential information. Many diagnoses and treatment approaches have a “pathway” outlining a best practice or at least a logical current norm based on scientific testimony.

The more CDS can decrease the effort required for clinicians to use readily available evidence-based protocols, the more likely it is that gaps in clinical quality and patient safety can be closed.

Reference Information and Guidance

Many diagnostic and treatment trials are too complex for protocol decision-tree graphics. Clinicians regularly encounter situations in which they need to quickly review the way to a symptom or abnormal finding or view a distinct clinical illness or syndrome. These express the modern equivalent of classic medical textbooks rendering support for clinicians when dealing with a diagnostic difficulty or managing a complex medical situation. This type of CDS usually correlates the user to a web-based information setting kept by an external vendor.

Conclusion

In an increasingly aggressive, cost-constrained climate, health care systems must take account of these technologies. Hospitals, in particular, face a complicated challenge: they must develop, become more prolific and enhance patient quality. As a result, they cannot bear to make suboptimal choices. Healthcare leaders need to secure the data already dwelling in their existing IT systems to advance their operational judgments.

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