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    Four ways clinical decision support can improve outcomes


    #4: Reducing hospital readmissions

    Reducing hospital readmissions is largely a matter of ensuring that quality care continues after the patient is discharged. If the CDS is capable of issuing alerts to outpatient settings, especially for patients with chronic disease, it can assist in post-discharge patient management. This can include such simple measures as promoting medication adherence and making sure that follow-up appointments for preventive care happen when they should.

    Delivering the right information at the right time

    Much has been written about alert fatigue. If a CDS system issues numerous alerts that are irrelevant, clinicians will quickly learn to ignore the system—which could mean that an extremely important alert goes unheeded. It is essential that the CDS system be silent until truly ready to provide meaningful support. Its alerts must be accurate, and they must be delivered when they are the most useful. If the system is both exact and timely, alerts will be infrequent—but when they do arrive, they can contribute significantly to reducing errors, inefficiencies, lengths of stay and readmissions.



    Keren Ofri, MD, is senior vice president of medical operations at medCPU


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