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Computerized Clinical Decision-Support in Respiratory Care

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Abstract:

Computers were initially used in health care for billing and administrative functions. More recently computers have been used to present clinical information such as laboratory results and pharmacy orders. Many medical informatics researchers believe that the ultimate goal of the “electronic health record” should be to advance computerized clinical decision-support. This report considers the challenges of developing electronic-health-record systems and integrating them into useful computerized decision-support systems and presents a “pyramid of progress” concept that involves 5 steps: (1) to gather electronic health data into a standardized and coded format, (2) to validate the quality of that electronic health data, (3) to optimize presentation of electronic health data and explore computerized decision-support, (4) to develop and share computerized knowledge bases that are based on clinical evidence as well as consensus, and (5) to tailor and to implement the computerized strategies so that they fit into the workflow process of patient care. This report discusses 3 examples of successful computerized clinical decision-support (use of antibiotics, laboratory alerting, and ventilator management) and discusses strategies essential to making computerized clinical decisionsupport more widely available and useful.

Keywords: CLINICAL DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM; COMPUTERS; DATA COLLECTION; DECISION SUPPORT TECHNIQUES; EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE; HEALTH RECORDS; INFORMATION MANAGEMENT; MEDICAL RECORDS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medical Informatics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Room AB 193 SOM, 30 North 1900 East, Salt Lake City UT 84132-2913;, Email: reed.gardner@hsc.utah.edu

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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