Medical informatics systems lacking clinical best practice support, says study

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According to a study published by Zynx Health, many hospitals using medical informatics systems could make significant improvements to following best practices in the treatment of heart failure and pneumonia, reports Information Week.

Room for improvement

The clinical decision support content provider surveyed 79 hospitals using medical informatics systems. Results of the report indicated that only 62 percent of care facilities were using electronic health records with clinical processes proven to reduce the mortality of patients with congestive heart failure.

Similarly, only 67 percent of hospitals were using medical informatics networks with clinical support tools for the treatment of pneumonia.

“We find that there are a lot of important clinical processes missing,” Scott Weingarten, president and chief executive of Zynx Health, told the news source. “The results show that there are lots of opportunities for improvement.”

Weingarten highlighted the fact that many hospitals did not include beta blocker drugs in their order sets for cardiac conditions as one area in which improvements could be made. He added that merely implementing a clinical informatics system was often seen as a priority for many care facilities, and that some hospitals only chose to customize their clinical decision support tools afterward.

Customization could improve patient risk estimation

Despite the results of the Zynx Health study, clinical decision support is seen as an area ripe for growth by many healthcare IT experts. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), new clinical decision support tools could improve patient risk estimation by using individual patient health information, reports FierceHealthIT.

Researchers found that adopting an adaptive data-driven approach to clinical decision support could result in more accurate predictive models and better patient risk estimation for conditions such as pneumonia and cardiac arrhythmia.