A computerized decision support system improves the accuracy of temperature capture from nursing personnel at the bedside

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2006;2006:444-8.


Objective: To assess the effect of a computerized decision support system (CDSS) on the accuracy of patient temperature recording at the bed side.

Design: This is a randomized, controlled trial comparing nurses assigned to an intervention group that received CDSS whenever they attempted to store a low temperature (</= 96.4 degrees F) or a control group that received no CDSS.

Measurements: The computer recorded temperatures that would trigger reminders equally in both control and intervention groups. It also logged the reactions of nurses who received reminders and whether they retook the patient's temperature or chose to store the original low value.

Results: We analyzed the temperature data over a 10-month period tracking a total of 44339 temperatures taken by the control group and 45823 temperatures taken by the intervention group. We showed a 51% relative reduction in the number of erroneous low temperatures stored by the intervention versus the control group.

Conclusion: CDSS are effective with nursing personnel in improving the accuracy of temperature capture at the bedside.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Reminder Systems*