Report indicates CDS no substitute for physician expertise

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According to a recent study published in the May issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers revealed that clinical decision support (CDS) tools of medical informatics systems are no substitute for the experience and knowledge of physicians, reports Information Week.

Malaz Boustani, associate director of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, and his team conducted an in-depth survey of how the CDS functionality of the clinical informatics system at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis affected patient outcomes. The report suggests that there were no statistically significant benefits of using CDS tools when treating patients suffering from cognitive impairment (CI).

Boustani told the news source that medical informatics vendors need to reassess how CDS tools provide information to physicians.

“The entire industry of clinical decision support is going in the wrong direction,” Boustani said. “We want computerized decision support to start working in the same way as a diagnostic tool or a diagnostic order.”

Some medical informatics vendors are moving toward a more individualized approach to CDS. The Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, recently implemented healthcare IT solutions from Oracle Health Sciences Technology that use sophisticated algorithms to provide physicians with more relevant information on patients’ medical conditions.

The new network gathers data and intelligence from the various components of the center’s clinical informatics systems to deliver treatment solutions at an individual level. Since deploying the system, officials at the center say they have reported an increase in the amount of data being requested by researchers and clinicians, and that leveraging the volume of data available to analysts will enable them to identify patients eligible for clinical trials more effectively.

Data collected and distributed throughout the network will also be gathered for advanced research studies into the oncological applications of various treatments.