Clinical Decision Support Tools
Your practice is undoubtedly presented with best practice guidelines to be used in treating the vast majority of your patients who present a specific condition. While no one treatment regimen is likely to be applicable 100 percent of the time, many regimens are clearly the preferred course of treatment for a majority of patients.
Clinical decision support tools embrace these best practices and present physicians with information that can be used to optimize quality of care. These tools are often incorporated in electronic health record systems with the goal of providing the best practice information at the point of care where physicians can integrate it seamlessly with their workflow. While these tools can be extremely helpful, they are only as good as their source. You are well advised to ensure that they are based on the best source for your specialty and that they are being updated regularly. And of course, these tools are merely a form of transmitting information on best practices and should always be used to supplement, not replace, your own best judgment.
Sources for decision support tools
The Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) works with the AMA, and is an excellent source for a variety of types of physician decision support information as well as the tools themselves. The Clinical Decision Support Tools will provide you with helpful information and tips on utilizing these support systems.
The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (ARHQ), a governmental agency, also offers a variety of resources for physician decision support information: