JAMIA: To reap benefits clinical decision support must be customized

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Decision support tools can greatly benefit care, but the benefits are greatly enhanced by customization of the tools – something not frequently done by providers – according to an article in the July/August issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The article recommends that providers perform the daunting task of developing knowledge bases. Of the knowledge bases available commercially, they tend to provide an overabundance of alerts, according to the article.

These types of headaches can be cured by, again, customization of the information base through various types of filters via "knowledge engineering” and other technical work, the article states.

Vendors could ease this customization process by following some of the below recommendations, according to the JAMIA article:

  • Granting users a means by which to more easily alter knowledge bases;
  • Providing more information regarding how the knowledge base and information system communicate;
  • Making customizations exportable and usable by other organizations;
  • Standardization of the information held in the knowledge base; and
  • Providing a means by which organizations using the information systems can communicate with one another.