KLAS: Providers still struggling with clinical decision support tools

Clinical decision support tools have great potential to improve patient care, but have yet to be adequately incorporated into electronic health records and providers' workflow, according to a new report released this week by Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research. 

In the survey of 249 providers, KLAS researchers found that providers increasingly are using home-grown and third-party clinical decision support tools to keep up with clinical evidence, but that content overload and operational difficulties are creating barriers to effective use. Fifty-one percent of providers using third-party clinical decision support tools use them only for reference because of integration problems with their EHRs. Almost half of the providers using a third-party vendor had previously tried to build a clinical decision support system from scratch so it would integrate better.   

The study also noted that medication alerts continue to cause alert fatigue, and that EHR vendors need to be "more involved" in customization and presentation of drug alerts.

The third-party clinical decision support vendor with the highest rating for order sets was Wolters Kluwer Provation. The highest ranked vendor for care plans was Zynx Health Zynxcare; there was not enough data to rank the drug database vendors.

The report's authors put some of the blame for those difficulties on EHR vendors.

"All EMR vendors need to become more active in enabling providers to leverage evidence from third-party solutions," the report's authors wrote. "Too many providers struggle to get evidence-based data into the EMR and then use it effectively once embedded."

Studies have shown that well-designed, targeted clinical decision support can improve outcomes, reduce unnecessary tests, and make research more effective but that poorly designed or too frequent alerts often are ignored.

To learn more:
- here's the KLAS announcement

Note: FierceEMR previously reported incorrectly that Cerner Multum was the highest ranked drug database vendor. We regret the error.