Will clinical decision support systems revolutionize the EMR?

Aug. 22, 2019
Vendors are building greater flexibility into systems so they can function in a dynamic healthcare regulatory environment

Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) are poised to become the user interface of choice for clinical interactions with health IT, ultimately supplanting the electronic health record (EHR) system as the primary health IT point of interface for clinicians. This is according to a Frost & Sullivan analysis the company announced in a recent news release. As decision support becomes a critical component of both healthcare delivery as well as regulatory compliance, they say the market is forecast to grow from $3.79 billion in 2018 to $6.4 billion in 2024, at a compound annual growth rate of 9.3 percent.

"CDSS has been heavily impacted by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) and, more recently, the Health and Human Services (HHS) requirements for interoperability and patient empowerment," said Mike Jude, Research Manager, Digital Health, in the statement. "These regulatory requirements encourage EHRs and electronic medical records (EMRs) vendors to either include CDS data within the properties of the electronic record or offer ways for users to link-out to CDS sources or workflow capabilities."

Over the forecast period, CDSS is expected to find substantial adoption in the area of patient surveillance and as an essential interface between EHR complexity and the clinical workflow. There are other significant growth opportunities in:

• Making systems interoperable; hospital administrators should push aggressively for this to happen.

• Extending services to cover population health to improve patient outcomes and augment the role of clinical data in driving success.

• Studying results of in-place clinical surveillance systems and evaluating the potential to create measurable value propositions.

• Using automation to communicate directly with the patient and EHR for important, but not critical, actions.

• Ensuring that patient portals or text-based systems are optimized according to the need of the patients.

“With the delivery of healthcare becoming more complex, there is an urgent need for a superior user interface, both to reduce the load on the physician, as well as ensure that the physician is informed of the latest treatment options and protocols,” added Jude. "The trend towards more regulatory oversight and the adoption of new information technology will further drive the need for CDS."