Medical decision support systems and therapeutics: The role of autopilots

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Feb;99(2):161-4. doi: 10.1002/cpt.259. Epub 2015 Oct 22.


For decades, medical practice has increasingly relied on prescription medicines to treat, cure, or prevent illness but their net benefit is reduced by prescribing errors that result in adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and tens of thousands of deaths each year. Optimal prescribing requires effective management of massive amounts of data. Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) can help manage information and support optimal therapeutic decisions before errors are made by operating as the prescribers' "autopilot."

MeSH terms

  • Automation*
  • Clinical Decision-Making*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / trends*
  • Drug Prescriptions / standards
  • Drug Therapy / trends*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Medical Order Entry Systems
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control
  • Patient Safety