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Considerations for a Successful Clinical Decision Support System


CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: July 2013 - Volume 31 - Issue 7 - p 319–326
doi: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e3182997a9c
Continuing Education

Clinical decision support systems have the potential to improve patient care in a multitude of ways. Clinical decision support systems can aid in the reduction of medical errors and reduction in adverse drug events, ensure comprehensive treatment of patient illnesses and conditions, encourage the adherence to guidelines, shorten patient length of stay, and decrease expenses over time. A clinical decision support system is one of the key components for reaching compliance for Meaningful Use. In this article, the advantages, potential drawbacks, and clinical decision support system adoption barriers are discussed, followed by an in-depth review of the characteristics that make a clinical decision support system successful. The legal and ethical issues that come with the implementation of a clinical decision support system within an organization and the future expectations of clinical decision support system are reviewed.

Author Affiliations: Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC (Ms. Castillo); and School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD (Mr. Kelemen).

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Ranielle S. Castillo, MSN, RN, CPN, 655 W Lombard St, Room #455B, Baltimore, MD 21201 (

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.