Information Systems in Healthcare Organizations Modern Clinical Decision Support Systems

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Original category: Information Systems in Healthcare Organizations Modern Clinical Decision Support Systems

Traditionally, academics and practitioners discuss decision support systems (DSSs) in terms of four major components: 1) the user interface, 2) the database, 3) the models and analytical tools, and 4) the DSS architecture and network. This traditional list of components remains useful because it identifies similarities and differences between categories or types of DSS and it can help managers and analysts build new DSS. However, is the list exhaustive, especially in terms of clinical decision support? Does it include all of the components of a modern clinical DSS? *use as many sources as needed

Modern Clinical Decision Support Systems


A Decision Support System (DSS) refers to a computer-based information management system which supports organizational or business decision making actions. Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS), therefore, refer to health information technology system designed to assist health professionals with clinical decision-making responsibilities. These systems are made up of a variety of tools that include clinicians’ practice guidelines, expert consultation, computerized alerts, patient cards utilized by nurses to follow a patient’s treatment history, reminders to care givers and patients, important medical knowledge, focused patient data summaries and reports, as well as ICU patient flow sheets among other tools (Ozel et al, 2013, p 89).

Health information systems are therefore, designed to enhance clinical decision-making as well as address the swelling information overload faced by clinicians. According to Frost & Sullivan (2013), the bulk of these CDS systems operate as components of more comprehensive EHR systems. In addition to the key functions, CDSSs can support research-based studies as well as assist in the management of such teams in harmony with research protocols. These systems further offer assistance with quality assurance tasks such as referrals management, preventive services and tracking orders among others. Thus, the traditional decision support system (DSS) component list does not include all components of a modern clinical decision support system. CDSSs are ultimately more comprehensive than the traditional decision support systems.


Frost & Sullivan. (2013). Clinical Decision Support Systems: The Time Has Come… Oxford: Frost & Sullivan.

Ozel, D., Bilge, U., Zayim, N., & Cengiz, M. (2013). A web-based intensive care clinical decision support system: From design to evaluation. Informatics For Health & Social Care, 38(2), 79-92. doi:10.3109/17538157.2012.710687

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