Clinical Support Systems and EHR

Recently Frost & Sullivan released a new report: U.S. Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) Market, Forecast to 2024. Clinical Support Systems, sometimes integrated into a practice’s EHR and other times an additional tool a provider uses, is going to become critical to evaluating patients and generating a plan of care.

What is a Clinical Decision Support System? These tools analyze the vast amount of patient data that is entered into a system to assist providers with streamlining workflows and creating a concise and effective plan of care for their patients.

EHR’s use of CDSS tools can be problematic for the end user at times. A CDSS tool may be responsible for popping up alerts and warnings. While it sounds helpful, often these alerts and warnings are less critical information. The problem lies in what happens when a truly critical alert like the contraindication of two medications arises? If end users are used to ignoring pop ups, they may very well ignore the important ones as well.

With payment models moving towards Value Based Care, a useful CDSS is going to become critical to stay on top of constantly changing regulatory and reimbursement rules.

The report from Frost & Sullivan expects the compounded annual growth rate of CDSS’s to be 9.3 heading towards 2024. There are many areas of opportunity for healthcare tech companies due to the interoperability regulations recently put into place by the Department of Health and Human Services. Having EHR’s that successfully talk to one another from one practice to another, will provide substantial data to referred providers.

The current problem is that most do not successfully talk to one another. If your primary care physician is on one EHR and the cardiologist she refers you to is on a different platform, it’s very likely that your primary care office is going to fax over your medical record. This ends up being just another document scanned into a patient’s chart – it does nothing to pre-populate information prior to the patient’s visit.

If interoperability could be successful, medication lists could be transmitted and updated directly into the system. Family and Social histories could be updated directly in the system. Any lab or diagnostic imaging results could be uploaded directly to the specialist’s EHR, preventing any duplicated testing.

With the estimated growth of CDSS’s over the next 5 years, we will hopefully lessen the administrative burden clinicians currently face.





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