Putting the Patient at the Center of Clinical Decision Support

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The mission of CDS Connect is to demonstrate how patient-centered outcomes research findings and evidence-based care are more rapidly incorporated into clinical practice through interoperable decision support. CDS Connect provides the ability to translate clinical practice guidelines into implementable clinical decision support (CDS) artifacts, which can be imported into an EHR. When used by clinicians or patients, these CDS tools can help improve clinician decision-making, support evidence-based practice, and ultimately, improve the quality of care provided to patients.

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To provide the greatest benefit to clinicians and patients, clinical decision support must be developed to support individual patients, their caregivers, and care teams in health-related decisions and actions. Good CDS design must account for the clinical workflow, by providing the right information to the right people in the right formats through the right channels at the right time (“CDS 5 rights”) without overly interrupting the clinician workflow. Failure to include the right stakeholders, including clinicians, patients and their caregivers, early in the design and implementation process can limit the adoption and effectiveness of the clinical decision support.

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Why and how should patients, their families and caregivers be involved in this process? First and foremost, the CDS must incorporate the values of patient-centered care, enabling patients and their clinicians to plan and manage the patient’s treatment and care together. Patient-centered CDS (PCCDS), defined as CDS that supports individual patients and their caregivers and/or care teams, can ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes and satisfaction. As a component of patient-centered care, CDS design and implementation should also account for the importance of the clinician-patient relationship, and the corresponding principles of trust and shared decision-making (SDM). In SDM, the patient’s perspective based on their values and preferences is critical to the decision-making process. It allows the patient and their healthcare provider to determine together the most appropriate treatment or care choice. The perspective of patients and their caregivers is a critical component in determining what works best in providing PCCDS that considers patient-specific values and preferences.

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Ensuring that patients and their caregivers have a seat at the table during CDS research, design, development, testing, implementation and evaluation will help ensure that patient preferences as well as clinician and patient decision-making are supported. In turn, the successful implementation of CDS helps support quality and safety while also resulting in a positive impact to patient health outcomes and satisfaction.

Danny van Leeuwen

While most patients have little to no experience with the development and implementation of clinical decision support (CDS), many are familiar with and often engaged in collaborative decision-making with their caregivers and direct-care clinicians.

Danny van Leeuwen

Clinical decision support researchers, developers, and implementers this is for you. Clinical decision support (CDS) technology can maximize trust and engagement during informed decision-making if used to its full potential. Or NOT.