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’Tis the Season to Be Thankful for Clinical Decision Support

The holiday season is a great time to reflect on what we’re thankful for in our personal lives. It’s also a great time to think about what we’re thankful for on a professional level. I have been thinking about the tools that help clinicians provide the very best care to patients. Among the most important of these is meaningful clinical decision support (CDS) that brings value to users without increasing the risk of alert fatigue.

CDS optimizes the electronic health record (EHR).

CDS encompasses a variety of capabilities and tools to enhance decision-making in the clinical workflow. When integrated within a health system’s EHR, CDS gives providers access to real-time, evidence-based recommendations at the point of care where they can have the biggest impact.

CDS works by observing the decisions providers are making. These systems provide alerts within the clinical workflow, giving providers an opportunity to choose the best course of action based on medical evidence.

Having access to this kind of precise, instantaneous clinical guidance at the point of care is invaluable for a variety of reasons:

  • Improves the care delivery experience for patients and providers. Intelligent decision support – that clinicians find useful and is embedded in the EHR – gives providers an opportunity to drive significant quality and safety improvement while reducing undesirable variation in care.
  • Ensures the right care at the right time and in the right setting. Studies estimate that patient care is 112-times more effective when guidance is included in the provider workflow through a CDS solution. Cedars-Sinai saw shorter lengths of stay, lower complication rates and lower costs as a result of the CDS technology implemented in its 886-bed tertiary academic medical center.
  • Reduces the frequency of medical errors. CDS can help alleviate both acts of omission (where a provider fails to do something that should be done) and acts of commission (where a provider is about to order care that might actually harm the patient). For this very reason, AdventHealth chose to integrate CDS technology into their EHR.
  • Saves money. 80 to 90 percent of U.S. healthcare costs are the direct result of provider decisions. Some providers have a tendency to overtreat, resulting in as much as $200 billion in annual waste. CDS can guide providers to make better decisions and help keep health systems compliant with the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA), which aims to address waste and ensure high quality care for patients.

The gift that keeps on giving.

There’s no denying the benefits of bolstering an EHR with CDS capabilities. It’s a win for providers, a win for patients and a win for healthcare as a whole as the move toward value-based, clinically integrated care continues. CDS truly is a gift that keeps on giving and one that providers will be thankful for well beyond this holiday season.


Learn more about how Premier brings meaningful CDS to healthcare providers.

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