Clinical decision support (CDS)

Provides clinicians, staff, patients or other individuals with knowledge and person-specific information, intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times, to enhance health and health care. CDS employs a variety of tools to enhance decision-making in the clinical workflow. These tools include computerized alerts and reminders to care providers and patients; clinical guidelines; condition-specific order sets; focused patient data reports and summaries; documentation templates; diagnostic support, and contextually relevant reference information, among other tools. CDS can significantly impact improvements in quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care. (Clinical Decision Support | HealthIT.gov)

This Clinical Decision Support (CDS) project supported the accurate design, creation and firing of alerts from VHA EHR systems to the user, which is a broad area of concern. These alerts are generated from cross checks performed by a patient safety system. Too often clinicians clear these alerts, which may display in a pop-up box, without reading them. Increasing the accuracy of these alerts increases the confidence of the clinician in the system. 

Across our projects, we provide Clinical Decision Support (CDS) so that VA’s EHR systems can provide clinicians with CDS functions and drug-drug interaction alerts.

Many of these alerts are now made possible via CHDR, which shares prescription drug information with receiving pharmacy systems so that pharmacists and clinicians can more safely treat patients. Through our terminology mapping work, we have matched allergy reactants, allergy reactions, and medications to current data standards so that patient data can be made more readily available between EHR systems. By doing so, we have enabled cross-departmental CDS between DoD and VA. 

We work to provide high quality standardized data for more reliable data for CDS systems.  We also analyzed White Paper submissions and provided terminology and clinical feedback for CDS including Gastroenterology, Hepatitis C, Cardiology Cardiac Catheterization, Mental Health Homelessness, and Tobacco Assessment and Cessation.  


Doctor examining an x-ray