Clinical Decision Support Systems

Clinical decision support systems in assisting advanced practice nurses in making informed decisions and providing quality health care.

Decision support systems were first designed and implemented in the corporate world to support business management. The integration of support systems into healthcare organizations brings a sharpened analysis capacity to data warehousing and data mining. This refined data analysis capability can lead to improved patient care and diagnoses through the evaluation of various symptoms, prediction of certain drug interaction outcomes, and much more.


In this Discussion, you explore the use of clinical decision support systems and consider their value in assisting advanced practice nurses in making informed decisions and providing quality health care.

To prepare:

  • Review the information in the Learning Resources focusing on the use of clinical decision support systems.
  • Consider where you seek support for clinical decisions. Do you seek advice from other health care professionals in your organization? Do you use computerized clinical decision support systems? Do you perform your own research? Assess the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
  • Reflect on how decision support technologies, including databases, might assist nurses in clinical practice.
  • Consider how you can validate the integrity of the data you are using in a clinical decision support system.
  • Peruse the information presented at the Open Clinical website presented in this week’s Learning Resources. Locate an article that focuses on how clinical decision support systems can be used to support or improve patient care. How does the information in the article align with or differ from your own experiences?1)  a description of how you currently seek support for clinical decision making and how you determine the integrity of the information you gather.2) Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using computerized clinical decision support systems in clinical practice. Justify your response.




Clinical Decision Support Systems




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Clinical Decision Support Systems

Clinical Decision Support Systems in Assisting Advanced Practice Nurses in Making Informed Decisions and Providing Quality Healthcare

“Medical professionals, not insurance company bureaucrats, should be making healthcare decisions.” (Barbara Boxer). Clinical decision support systems are tools that are based on computers enabling healthcare providers to make informed decisions about patient care (Musen et al., 2021). They use patient and clinical comprehension data to create suggestions, mnemonics, and apprises, enabling healthcare providers to constructively diagnose and treat patients. Clinical decision support systems improve patient outcomes by minimizing medical errors, enhancing diagnostic exactness, and maximizing adhesiveness to evidence-based guidelines. They also improve communication and alliance between healthcare providers because they obtain and share patient information and plans for their treatments. These systems can transfigure healthcare as they provide practical and precise decision support to healthcare providers and enhance patient care and outcomes. This essay will explain how one can seek support for clinical decision-making, determine the integrity of the gathered information, and the advantages and disadvantages of using computerized clinical decision-support systems in clinical practice.

Ways of Seeking Support for Clinical Decision Making and Integrity Determination for a Gathered Information

Clinical decision-making is a compound process involving incorporating extensive amounts of information and providing outstanding patient care. Looking for support for clinical decision-making involves numerous ways, including consulting clinical guidelines, peer-reviewed pamphlets, and skillful opinions (Angelis et al., 2018). Clinical guidelines dispense evidence-based directions for specific conditions or treatments, and peer-reviewed pamphlets dispense the current research findings. Skillful opinions can also be entreating from other healthcare professionals. It is essential to ascertain the gathered information’s integrity before making a clinical decision. It can be performed by seriously analyzing the spring of the information, involving the quality and applicability of the evidence, possible conflicts of amusement, and the author’s or publisher’s plausibility (Wallach et al., 2018). When making clinical decisions, it is crucial to think about the patient’s attributes and partiality. A rigorous and methodical perspective to seeking support for clinical decision-making can enhance patient outcomes and healthcare eminence.

The Advantages of Using Computerized Clinical Decision Systems in Clinical Practice

Computerized clinical decision systems are intended to enable healthcare providers to make patient care decisions. In clinical practice, the use of computerized clinical decision systems has numerous advantages. Computerized clinical decision systems are essential as they minimize medication errors that involve drug-drug interactions (Sutton et al., 2020). Combination of computerized clinical decision systems and other systems reduces prescribing error rates for drug allergy detection, excessive dosing, and incomplete or unclear ordering. Most clinical decision systems, errors can still occur if providers neglect or intentionally work around the technology. Computerized clinical decision systems improve patient safety through reminder systems for other medical events, not just those related to medication. This can be seen when a clinical decision support system for blood glucose measurement in the ICU can minimize the number of hypoglycemia events.

Clinical decision support systems increase adherence to clinical guidelines, and it is significant as traditional clinical guidelines and care pathways have been indicated to be arduous to implement in practice with low clinician adherence. They also notify clinicians to reach out to patients who are not following management plans or are due for follow-up and enable spot patients eligible for research based on specific criteria (Sutton et a., 2020). Clinical decision support systems are cost-effective for health systems through clinical interventions minimizing inpatient length-of-stay. They also alert the user of cheaper options for drugs or conditions covered by insurance companies. They provide support for clinical and diagnostic coding, ordering of procedures and tests, and patient array and directly improve the quality of clinical documentation. A tocology clinical decision support system featuring and enhancing prompt system notably improves documentation of indications for labor induction and evaluated fetal weight compared to the control hospital. Using computerized clinical decision systems in clinical practice can be essential as it can improve the quality of care, minimize errors, and intensify the coherence of clinical practice.

Disadvantages of using Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems in Clinical Practice

Computerized clinical decision support systems have transformed healthcare by providing healthcare professionals with concurrent clinical decision-making support, and despite such benefits, they also have disadvantages impacting clinical practice. Clinical decision support systems can disrupt clinician workflow, especially in the case of stand-alone systems (Sutton et al., 2020). Disrupted workflow can lead to an increased cognitive effort required to complete tasks with less time face-to-face with patients. They can also lead to alert fatigue and inappropriate alerts where disruptive alerts should be limited to more life-threatening or consequential contraindications like severe allergies. The use of these systems is the potential for error as they rely on accurate and updated data that is not always available. They may not also be appropriate for certain patients, like those with compound medical histories and the ones requiring individualized care plans. These systems may also have issues with implementation, like the need for extensive training and the cost of implementing the systems limiting their adoption.


Clinical decision support systems are treasurable tools assisting healthcare providers in making clinical decisions. They can be obtained in numerous ways, including through portable devices, desktop computers, and electronic health record systems, and to ensure the integrity of the information gathered, it is vital to confirm the correctness and dependability of the data sources. The advantages of using these systems are numerous, as they improve clinical outcomes, minimize medical errors, and increase coherence. They also have disadvantages, including the potential for alert fatigue, increasing workload, and minimizing provider autonomy. The decision on the adoption of this system should be based on the particular needs and situations of the healthcare setting, including the preferences and expertise of the providers to use the systems.










Angelis, A., Lange, A., & Kanavos, P. (2018). Using health technology assessment to assess the value of new medicines: results of a systematic review and expert consultation across eight European countries. The European Journal of Health Economics19, 123-152.

Musen, M. A., Middleton, B., & Greenes, R. A. (2021). Clinical decision-support systems. In Biomedical informatics: computer applications in health care and biomedicine (pp. 795-840). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Sutton, R. T., Pincock, D., Baumgart, D. C., Sadowski, D. C., Fedorak, R. N., & Kroeker, K. I. (2020). An overview of clinical decision support systems: Benefits, risks, and strategies for success. Npj Digital Medicine, 3(1), 1-10.

Wallach, J. D., Gonsalves, G. S., & Ross, J. S. (2018). Research, regulatory, and clinical decision-making: the importance of scientific integrity. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology93, 88-93.

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