Clinical Decision Support Tools and Their Impact on Patient Care

Overview of clinical decision support systems

Clinical decision support systems are used by healthcare professionals to offer quality care to patients through quality data flow and interpretation. They are also used in the diagnosis of patients to improve patient care outcomes. The use of clinical decision support systems ensures evidence-based care to patients because they allow review and analysis of patients’ medical history and additional research that could enable clinicians to predict some potential clinical events. The clinical events could be adverse drug effects and disease systems, among others (Chen, 2011; Hannah et al., 2011).

Clinical decision support systems that use a knowledge base involve the application of inference engines that analyze and display patient data to healthcare professionals. The other types of clinical decision support systems do not have a knowledge platform but are based on software for processing clinical data input to clinical data outcomes (Hannah et al., 2011).

The use of CDS tools in my practice setting

My healthcare setting has adopted the use of CDS tools with the main goal of improving patient care outcomes. The CDS tools used in the setting are HIPAA compliant, and this ensures that no harm is caused to patients. Also, the CDS tools are designed with features that allow encryption that aims to control access of the devices by healthcare workers. Professionals in my setting have become so accustomed to the use of CDS tools that it would be hard to offer quality care without applying the devices. Most of the CDS devices used in my practice setting are portable, and this helps healthcare professionals to communicate with patients and other healthcare professionals from remote locations. A device could have software that recognizes speech, and this implies that the end-users could navigate and document patients’ data without using their hands. The devices ensure that vital patients’ data are accessed and reviewed by a healthcare provider. The data could be about dosages, types of allergies, previous prescriptions, dates of previous treatments, and identities of providers who offered care (Singh, Mathiassen, Stachura & Astapova, 2010).

The impact of CDS tools on providers, clinicians, and patients

CDS tools have positively impacted providers, clinicians, and patients in many ways. CDS tools have improved the flow of practice within healthcare organizations by allowing proper and uninterrupted scheduling of appointments electronically. Healthcare providers and clinicians can make efficient and effective clinical decisions because CDS tools allow them to be flexible and more functional. The use of CDS tools within healthcare organizations reduces clinical errors that are common with the use of manual systems (Stewart, Hansen & Carey, 2010; Hannah et al., 2011). By applying CDS tools, both healthcare professionals and patients can save time. The use of CDS tools improves the practice of a healthcare provider through increased efficiency. In addition, CDS tools improve patient care outcomes and ensure patient satisfaction.

A specific CDS tool in my practice setting

A smart documentation form is a CDS tool that is used within healthcare institutions to enhance clinical support decision-making via efficient documentation of patients’ data. The tool could improve decision-making processes in my healthcare setting through improved clinical data output. A clinical smart documentation form has features that are supported by the latest versions of electronic medical records. The features allow healthcare professionals to edit and delete unwanted data. The tool could be used to code and process crucial patients’ data to obtain structured clinical data output. Therefore, the tool could go a long way in supporting the information needs of various healthcare professionals in my practice setting.


Chen, M. H. (2011). Therapeutic benefit of preventive telehealth counseling in the Community Outreach Heart Health and Risk Reduction Trial. The American journal of cardiology, 107(5), 690-696.

Hannah, K. J., DuLong, D., Newbold, S. K., Sensmeier, J. E., Skiba, D. J., Troseth, M. R.,… & Douglas, J. V. (Eds.). (2011). Nursing informatics: Where technology and caring meet. New York, NY: Springer.

Singh, R., Mathiassen, L., Stachura, M. E., & Astapova, E. V. (2010). Sustainable rural telehealth innovation: a public health case study. Health Services Research45(4), 985-1004.

Stewart, S., Hansen, T. S., & Carey, T. A. (2010). Opportunities for people with disabilities in the virtual world of Second Life. Rehabilitation Nursing, 35(6), 254-259.