A qualitative study of the activities performed by people involved in clinical decision support: recommended practices for success


OBJECTIVE:

To describe the activities performed by people involved in clinical decision support (CDS) at leading sites.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We conducted ethnographic observations at seven diverse sites with a history of excellence in CDS using the Rapid Assessment Process and analyzed the data using a series of card sorts, informed by Linstone’s Multiple Perspectives Model.

RESULTS:

We identified 18 activities and grouped them into four areas. Area 1: Fostering relationships across the organization, with activities (a) training and support, (b) visibility/presence on the floor, (c) liaising between people, (d) administration and leadership, (e) project management, (f) cheerleading/buy-in/sponsorship, (g) preparing for CDS implementation. Area 2: Assembling the system with activities (a) providing technical support, (b) CDS content development, (c) purchasing products from vendors (d) knowledge management, (e) system integration. Area 3: Using CDS to achieve the organization’s goals with activities (a) reporting, (b) requirements-gathering/specifications, (c) monitoring CDS, (d) linking CDS to goals, (e) managing data. Area 4: Participation in external policy and standards activities (this area consists of only a single activity). We also identified a set of recommendations associated with these 18 activities.

DISCUSSION:

All 18 activities we identified were performed at all sites, although the way they were organized into roles differed substantially. We consider these activities critical to the success of a CDS program.

CONCLUSIONS:

A series of activities are performed by sites strong in CDS, and sites adopting CDS should ensure they incorporate these activities into their efforts.

Citation: Wright A, Ash JS, Erickson JL, Wasserman J, Bunce A, Stanescu A, St Hilaire D, Panzenhagen M, Gebhardt E, McMullen C, Middleton B, Sittig DF. A qualitative study of the activities performed by people involved in clinical decision support: recommended practices for success. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2014 May-Jun;21(3):464-72. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2013-001771.

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Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

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