Computerized clinical decision support systems improve care in emergency department

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Computerized clinical decision support systems (CCDSSs) are meant to improve efficiency, but evidence of such a positive impact is scarce. In a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, researchers evaluated the impact of CCDSSs in emergency department (EDs).

Led by Paula Bennett of the United Kingdom-based Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network, the study evaluated international literature using Medline, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature.

A total of 23 studies, which included the comparison of using CCDSS with face-to-face care in the ED, were included in the analysis. Results showed that half the studies included a significant improvement in clinical care with the use of CCDSS, while the other half showed a slight improvement in care, mainly in the area of documentation.

However, researchers note the quality of the studies’ methodologies to be poor, stating “the quality of the research in approximately 75% of the studies was poor, and therefore conclusions cannot be drawn from these results. However, the studies with a more robust design show evidence of the positive impact of CCDSSs on ED patient care.”

“This is the first review to consider the role of CCDSSs in emergency care and expose the research in this area,” concluded Bennett and colleagues. “The role of CCDSSs in emergency care may provide some solutions to the current challenges in EDs, but further high-quality research is needed to better understand what technological solutions can offer clinicians and patients.”