Implementation pearls from a new guidebook on improving medication use and outcomes with clinical decision support. Effective CDS is essential for addressing healthcare performance improvement imperatives

J Healthc Inf Manag. 2009 Fall;23(4):38-45.


Effective clinical decision support (CDS) is essential for addressing healthcare performance improvement imperatives, but care delivery organizations (CDO) typically struggle with CDS deployment. Ensuring safe and effective medication delivery to patients is a central focus of CDO performance improvement efforts, and this article provides an overview of best-practice strategies for applying CDS to these goals. The strategies discussed are drawn from a new guidebook, co-published and co-sponsored by more than a dozen leading organizations. Developed by scores of CDS implementers and experts, the guidebook outlines key steps and success factors for applying CDS to medication management. A central thesis is that improving outcomes with CDS interventions requires that the CDS five rights be addressed successfully. That is, the interventions must deliver the right information, to the right person, in the right format, through the right channel, at the right point in workflow. This paper provides further details about these CDS five rights, and highlights other important strategies for successful CDS programs.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / standards*
  • Humans
  • Medication Systems, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Medication Systems, Hospital / standards*
  • Models, Organizational
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States