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Clinical Decision Support (CDS)

What is clinical decision support (CDS)?

Clinical decision support (CDS) provides knowledge and information specific to the patient for staff, clinicians, and patients. The information is provided at the appropriate time, and it helps to enhance healthcare and overall health.

There are many tools used with CDS to help physicians and patients with decision-making, such as:

  • clinical guidelines
  • computerized reminders and alerts to patients and care providers
  • focused patient summaries and data reports
  • condition-specific order sets
  • contextually relevant reference information
  • diagnostic support
  • documentation templates

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has partnered with the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) to optimize CDS and make it more usable and interoperable.

How does clinical decision support promote patient safety?

The information provided with CDS can significantly improve the safety, quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of health care.

This is because CDS helps improve healthcare decision-making, ensuring that clinicians make the best decision for their patients, resulting in safer treatment with better outcomes.

CDS also accomplishes all of this in a timely manner so that patients can quickly and efficiently receive optimal healthcare.