Decision Support and Patient Safety: The Time Has Come

Publication: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Date: June 2011
Author: Steve K. Hasley, MD

Abstract:
Decision support (DS) may help to improve patient safety by helping clinicians improve the evaluation, assessment, and treatment of patients. By providing best practice guidelines at critical decision points, errors can be prevented. Location of these decision points varies in different care environments, therefore DS must be customizable. Being able to customize the design, functionality, and clinical context of how a DS rule behaves may help each unique clinical environment improve performance. The ability to review aggregate data on the behavior of both the DS system and the providers will be necessary to further adapt the DS rule to the setting. A robust tool set and ongoing institutional engagement are critical elements for a successful DS implementation.

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