The Clinical Decision Support System: Your Guide to Better Health Outcomes

Clinical Decision Support


Used by healthcare professionals (HCPs), Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) is basically a program module that helps these professionals make decisions at the point of care. Undoubtedly, these professionals regularly face a complex decision-making process on a daily basis. It offers this system which offers several benefits and features, from the safety of the patients under treatment to reducing misdiagnoses.

Undoubtedly, CDSS has become a significant component in patient treatment evaluation and overall improvement.

What is the Clinical Decision Support System?

This system is a computer-based program that analyzes data within EHRs (Electronic Health Records) to provide prompts and reminders to assist healthcare providers in implementing evidence-based clinical guidelines at the point of care. In simple terms, it facilitates care in various ways, such as by providing information on treatment protocols, prompting questions on medication adherence, and providing tailored recommendations for health behaviour changes.

How many types of CDSS are there?

There are two main types of clinical decision support systems:

  • Knowledge-based

    This type of CDSS applies rules to patient data by using an inference engine and then further displays the final results. Most knowledge-based CDSSs have a data repository, an inference engine and a communication mechanism.

  • Non-knowledge based

    A clinical decision support system without a knowledge base relies on machine learning technology to analyze clinical data.

What are the benefits of CDSS?

It significantly impacts the overall quality, efficiency, quality and safety of the health care system in a positive way. From reducing medication errors to saving you a lot of money, CDSS is beneficial for you and your health.

  • Reduces medication errors

    As per a study record, around 7000 to 9000 patients in the USA die annually because of medication errors. Further, many people even suffer from complications and issues caused by inappropriate medicines and many such circumstances. However, with time, computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems have been developed to prevent prescription errors, and the addition of CDSS has significantly reduced prescription error rates. This is because it targets the ordering stage of medications, where approximately half of all medication errors occur.

  • Improving patient treatment

    The primary benefit of the clinical decision support system is that it improves the patient’s overall treatment. It is really helpful, starting from the early detection of infection to delivering insights for highly personalized therapy. Further, it provides several modes of decision support, including reminders, alerts, advice, critiques, and suggestions for enhanced care.

  • Cost-effective

    This system will help you save a lot of money overall. See, if you witness that this system helps improve patient treatment and reduces medication errors, it ultimately shows that it saves a lot of money by improving patient care by nullifying unnecessary tests and minimizing medication expenditure, respectively.


Since the first use of this system in the 1970s, it has seen a significant transformation over the years as technology evolved with time. So, all in all, the clinical decision support systems tend to improve healthcare delivery by enhancing medical decisions with targeted clinical knowledge, information about the patient as well as other health information.

This system is mainly used today at the point of care, for the professionals to combine their knowledge with information or suggestions. Lastly, their ultimate goal is better health outcomes!

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