Testing a Clinical Decision Support System

I have to admit that February (although it’s the shortest month of the year) has been the most hectic month for me at KI (so far!)

We are taking two courses at the same time, one of them requires a lot work because we had to deliver an assignment every week in addition to reading loads of documents and finally doing an online exam (yeah, we survived!). The other course is more elongated, but it still requires much work every now and then.

Additionally, I was busy testing a newly introduced Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) which would be commercially available soon. For those who have no idea what a CDSS is, it is a computer based system that aims at helping doctors reach the correct diagnosis and offering supplementary information about how to handle that certain condition using evidence based information.

Personally, this is one of the fields of Health Informatics that I’m interested in. Maybe because of my background as a Medical Doctor, but also because I understand the huge need for such systems in the medical field.

Many doctors struggle to be able to get evidence based information quickly (especially while seeing a patient) and struggle even more while consulting other more experienced doctors. These systems provide a good alternative for doctors to get the kind of information that they are seeking in a convenient way which consequently means that the quality of the service provided by such doctors to patients increases.

There are many aspects by which such systems help increase the quality and safety of healthcare services. Apart from increasing the knowledge and competency levels of the physicians, they also help decrease medical errors and decrease the wasted time going through many sources to find the desired information and they even help increase the self-confidence of new doctors (I’ve been there and I know it sometimes feels weird meeting patients who know more about their conditions than the physician they are seeing which sometimes affects the physician’s level of confidence).

I got to test one of those systems through our course coordinator at KI (to whom I’m very grateful for such opportunity) and I have to admit that although the process was a bit hectic and the whole month was crowded with assignments and reading, I really appreciate the experience that I earned by taking part in testing that system.

Finally, I would love to see such systems spreading not only in the Western world, but in poorer countries where the quality of healthcare needs to be improved using innovative and cheap solutions.

2 thoughts on “Testing a Clinical Decision Support System

  1. I think it’s a very interesting field 🙂
    It’s not relatively new though. I think some of the interactive systems started in the early 80’s, but they are becoming popular now because it’s not that pricey to have a computer these days compared to the early 80’s 😉

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