A survey about the usefulness of computerized systems to support illness management in clinical practice

Int J Med Inform. 2004 Nov;73(11-12):797-805. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2004.08.004.


Purpose: This survey among an interdisciplinary group of clinicians was conducted to obtain their opinions about the usefulness of decision support systems (DSS) for evidence- and patient preference-based illness management, factors important to their implementation, and criteria for evaluating their effectiveness.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent by mail or electronically to a convenience sample of 184 nurses, physicians and other health care professionals.

Results: The DSS ability to provide information about potential benefits and harms of intervention options and reports on patient outcomes of symptom relief, functional status and preference achievement was considered most useful among DSS features. Nurses rated the usefulness of the DSS higher than physicians did. Ease of use, no increase in workload, and timely, precise information were rated as the most important factors for successful implementation. The most frequently selected patient, care process/provider and system outcomes rated as indicators for DSS effectiveness were: patient satisfaction, health-related quality of life, symptom relief, functional status, and alignment of patient preferences with realistic expectations; congruence between patient preferences and patient care; clinician time use; quality of patient documentation and cost-effectiveness.

Conclusion: This survey provided crucial information to successfully develop DSS for evidence- and patient preference-based illness management that are perceived helpful by their potential users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Demography
  • Disease Management*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Systems*
  • Male
  • New Hampshire
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires