Clinical decision support systems for the practice of evidence-based medicine

J Am Med Inform Assoc. Nov-Dec 2001;8(6):527-34. doi: 10.1136/jamia.2001.0080527.


Background: The use of clinical decision support systems to facilitate the practice of evidence-based medicine promises to substantially improve health care quality.

Objective: To describe, on the basis of the proceedings of the Evidence and Decision Support track at the 2000 AMIA Spring Symposium, the research and policy challenges for capturing research and practice-based evidence in machine-interpretable repositories, and to present recommendations for accelerating the development and adoption of clinical decision support systems for evidence-based medicine.

Results: The recommendations fall into five broad areas--capture literature-based and practice-based evidence in machine--interpretable knowledge bases; develop maintainable technical and methodological foundations for computer-based decision support; evaluate the clinical effects and costs of clinical decision support systems and the ways clinical decision support systems affect and are affected by professional and organizational practices; identify and disseminate best practices for work flow-sensitive implementations of clinical decision support systems; and establish public policies that provide incentives for implementing clinical decision support systems to improve health care quality.

Conclusions: Although the promise of clinical decision support system-facilitated evidence-based medicine is strong, substantial work remains to be done to realize the potential benefits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic