Clinical decision support system (CDSS) – effects on care quality
Journal article, 2014

Purpose – Despite their efficacy, some recommended therapies are underused. The purpose of this paper is to describe clinical decision support system (CDSS) development and its impact on clinical guideline adherence. Design/methodology/approach - A new CDSS was developed and introduced in a cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) in 2003, which provided physicians with patient-tailored reminders and permitted data export from electronic patient records into a national quality registry. To evaluate CDSS effects in the CICU, process indicators were compared to a control group using registry data. All CICUs were in the same region and only patients with acute coronary syndrome were included. Findings – CDSS introduction was associated with increases in guideline adherence, which ranged from 16 to 35 per cent, depending on the therapy. Statistically significant associations between guideline adherence and CDSS use remained over the five-year period after its introduction. During the same period, no relapses occurred in the intervention CICU. Practical implications – Guideline adherence and healthcare quality can be enhanced using CDSS. This study suggests that practitioners should turn to CDSS to improve healthcare quality. Originality/value – This paper describes and evaluates an intervention that successfully increased guideline adherence, which improved healthcare quality when the intervention CICU was compared to the control group.

Quality healthcare

Clinical guidelines

Quality improvement

Evidence-based practice

Decision making


Marco Santos

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Quality Sciences

Hans Tygesen

Södra Älvsborg Hospital (SÄS)

Henrik Eriksson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Quality Sciences

Johan Herlitz

Sahlgrenska University Hospital

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

0952-6862 (ISSN)

Vol. 27 8 707-718

Subject Categories

Work Sciences

Areas of Advance

Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)



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9/6/2018 1