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Decision Management and fixing healthcare


I think alot about how decision management can be used to improve healthcare. Neil Versel is one of the bloggers I read in this space and he had a post this week called “A modest proposal” in which he repeated some comments about the failure of the medical profession to use Clinical Decision Support systems (CDS) to improve outcomes. He quoted Dr. Bill Bria, chairman of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems:

Our profession has really stumbled on this one

I remain convinced that technolgy can, and will, make a big difference in the delivery of care and decision support is one way it can. Ensuring that, when a medical professional knows that he or she should make a decision they have tools and support to make the best possible decision. However there is another whole area of technology support for medical professionals – Clinical Decision Management if you like. These systems are working on behalf of the medical professionals to make decisions when there is no staff available (in automatic monitoring of patients, for instance) and when medical professionals don’t realize that a decision needs to be made (or when they appear to have forgotten). With the increasing desire to have patients monitor their own health and do so from home and the costs of having people come to hospitals unecessarily, clinical decision management would seem to be essential. Clinical decision management can reduce costs and improve results while also improving the patient’s experience and there are not many technologies that can say that…


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  • Alex Burgess January 7, 2009, 8:08 am

    Hi JT,

    Thanks for the EXTREMELY informative blog!

    You are correct about Health IT and its effect on quality care, but the tools must be simple to use (little to no training), immediately effective (outcomes/efficiency) and be affordable to all physicians. 

    Hospitals/PHOs with LOTS of money to throw at the problem can pay for/digest large EMR/DS/CPOE/Etc. systems, but the VAST majority of physicians treating patients in a preventive or chronic mode have little nothing in place.  The moth-to-light-like focus our industry has on digitizing the office and deploying EMRs everywhere is a red herring. 

    Why not focus on simple tools that show immediate efficacy/ROI and are affordable to all physicians rather than trying to FORCE doctors to change how they practice medicine?

    Thanks again for all your work!