New report emphasises vital role of CDSS in pandemic

Clinical decision-support systems have been critical in helping physicians make effective choices at the point of care during COVID-19, a new HIMSS report reveals.

Even before the coronavirus reared its head, clinicians faced an uphill struggle to stay on top of the latest medical literature – with the pandemic only aggravating this.

And as the virus spread across the world, the volume of papers on the subject increased exponentially, at one point doubling every two weeks, in what the journal Science called, “among the biggest explosions of scientific literature ever [seen]”.

It was against this backdrop that clinical decision support tools and systems (CDSS) came into their own, proving themselves powerful assistive tools for those treating COVID-19. Not only did they help ‘sort the wheat from the chaff’ when it came to information healthcare professionals needed to do their jobs, but they also helped support doctors in their efforts to consult effectively remotely, critical if patients were to access the care they needed.

Peace of mind in a crisis 

Clinical decision support becomes essential tool in the fight against the pandemica new report supported by information and software solutions firm, Wolters Kluwer, emphasises the critical role of CDSS at the time, providing case studies from healthcare settings around the globe. It shows how healthcare teams can stay on top of the latest COVID information and intelligence, helping improve the quality of the care they provide.

“There is so much new evidence coming out every day that doctors can’t possibly be across everything,” states Steve Jackson, chief medical information officer (CMIO) at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, England, in the report. “You realise that there are inevitably going to be things you don’t know and where the wisest course of action in the best interests of the patient is to seek support, whether that is from a CDSS […] or the advice of specialist colleagues.”

And the support of CDSS can be critical in cases of new viruses like COVID-19, where there has been little or no real ’evidence’ to base a treatment plan on, as Dr Amed Khan, neurosurgical registrar at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, England emphasises, in the report. “In a crisis, this can provide some peace of mind, at a time when you may be second-guessing yourself.”

“In this COVID era that we’re all adapting to, clinical decision support is enabling the rise of the virtual consultation,” emphasises Wolters Kluwer’s health VP of sales EMEA for clinical effectiveness, Garry Edwards, in the report. “This is a clear consequence of the COVID pandemic, as many GPs and hospital doctors have switched to video-based appointments wherever possible.”

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