The use of electronic health records has skyrocketed following the 2009 HITECH Act, which provides financial incentives to health care providers for the "meaningful use" of electronic medical record systems. An important component of the "Meaningful Use" legislation is the integration of Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) into the computerized record, providing up-to-date medical knowledge and evidence-based guidance to the physician at the point of care. As reimbursement is increasingly tied to process and clinical outcomes, CDSS will be integral to future medical practice. Studies of CDSS indicate improvement in preventive services, appropriate care, and clinical and cost outcomes with strong evidence for CDSS effectiveness in process measures. Increasing provider adherence to CDSS recommendations is essential in improving CDSS effectiveness, and factors that influence adherence are currently under study.
Keywords: clinical decision support systems; clinical practice guidelines; computerized provider order entry; electronic health record; electronic medical records; meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials; preventive services guidelines; quality outcomes; quality process measure.