Impact of a clinical decision support system on pharmacy clinical interventions, documentation efforts, and costs

Hosp Pharm. 2013 Oct;48(9):744-52. doi: 10.1310/hpj4809-744.


Health care organizations are turning to electronic clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) to increase quality of patient care and promote a safer environment. A CDSS is a promising approach to the aggregation and use of patient data to identify patients who would most benefit from interventions by pharmacy clinicians. However, there are limited published reports describing the impact of CDSS on clinical pharmacy measures. In February 2011, Good Shepherd Medical Center, a 425-bed acute care community hospital in East Texas, implemented a CDSS (TheraDoc clinical surveillance system). Prior to CDSS implementation, clinicians struggled with obtaining and documenting the data needed to support clinical initiatives. The value of having both clinical and staff pharmacists utilizing the CDSS has improved communication and knowledge among staff and improved relationships with medical staff, nursing, and case management. The department of pharmacy increased its clinical interventions from an average of 1,986 per month to 4,065 per month; this represents a 105% increase in the number of interventions. The annual estimated cost savings after CDSS implementation is $2,999,508, representing a 96% increase per year and translating into a $1,469,907 annual return on investment.

Keywords: antibiotic stewardship; clinical decision support system; costs; documentation; interventions; pharmacy; surveillance.