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Clinical decision support closes medical evidence gap

InformationWeek, September 9, 2011

If Meaningful Use of electronic health records is ever going to fulfill its promise of better care at lower cost, clinical decision support (CDS) systems had better play a central role delivering relevant medical evidence to the point of care, according to one veteran informatics physician and patient safety advocate. "The evidence of best treatment, if not the right treatment, is available probably 85% of the time," Dr. Jeffrey Rose, VP of clinical excellence and informatics at St. Louis-based Ascension Health, tells InformationWeek Healthcare. Unfortunately, information is not often readily accessible. This opinion runs counter to a widely cited statement by Kaiser Permanente's Dr. David Eddy that just 15% of medical treatment is supported by scientific evidence. "That's old and wrong," according to Rose, a former chief medical officer of EHR vendor Cerner. "When you do further studies, information is available, it's just not in the clinical environment."