Clinical Decision Support in EHRs for Meaningful Use

November 17th, 2016 - By Kevin V. Nguyen

Clinical Decision Support is health information technology implemented through electronic health records that can increase the quality of care, help to avoid clinical errors, improve efficiency, reduce costs, enhance outcomes, and boost provider and patient satisfaction. CDS is a tool that supplements clinical judgments by helping assist care team members in making timely, informed, and higher quality decisions.

Clinical Decision Support is not a specific alert, notification, or care suggestion. It encompasses a wide variety of tools such as:

  • Computerized alerts and reminders
  • Clinical guidelines & condition-specific order sets
  • Patient data reports and summaries
  • Documentation templates
  • Diagnostic support
  • Contextually relevant reference information

Clinical Decision Support is an important part of Meaningful Use. Learn how Clinical Decision Support tools interface with Meaningful Use, and how PrognoCIS is working with leading companies to promote the use of CDS.

Clinical Decision Support & Meaningful Use

Clinical Decision Support is a centerpiece of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, also known as Meaningful Use. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) notes that ” The concept of CDS for Meaningful Use encompasses a wide range of information, which can be presented to providers, clinical/support staff, patients, and/or other caregivers at various points in time. Auditors should consider the government’s desire to encourage innovative efforts to use CDS to improve care quality, efficiency, and outcomes.  Note that the Meaningful Use Program under Medicaid is planned to still be in place through 2018, while the Medicare Meaningful Use Program is transitioning into the MIPS Program starting January 2017. (Read more about MIPS and MACRA here).

In particular, the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule describes Clinical Decision Support as:

“HIT functionality that builds upon the foundation of an EHR to provide persons involved in care processes with general and person-specific information, intelligently filtered and organized, at appropriate times, to enhance health and healthcare.”

To achieve meaningful use, Clinical Decision Support tools must interact with certified EHR technology like PrognoCIS in the normal course of care delivery. CDS tools must ensure information is delivered at the right point in the workflow, based on relevant patient information, even if the appropriate point in the workflow is not during a patient encounter.

Clinical Decision Support with PrognoCIS

PrognoICS offers a number of Clinical Decision Support tools which can help outcomes and boost efficiency. Some of our tools are:

Healthcare Portals: PrognoCIS offers three types of portals in our Clinical Information Suite: Patient Portals, Employer Portals, and Referring Physician Portals. Each portal helps our maintain financial profitability, and develop strong provider-patient relationships. For example, the key benefits of our Patient Portal are:

  • Making appointments, viewing lab results, financial statements, and prescription refills
  • Sending messages such as appointment reminders, electronic statements
  • Communication with patients’ other physicians without the potential delay of phone messages
  • Easy and quick online payments for both biller and patient
  • Electronic forms are quick and easy to use and do not suffer from the faults of physical forms

Read more on our Healthcare Portals Blog here, and check out our Patient Portal Page.

Medication Management for Adherence by Surescripts: We have integrated with Surescripts to provide an exciting and innovate feature of population health analysis technology called Medication Management for Adherence. This technology is helping combat the national epidemic of medication non-adherence, which costs the U.S over $300 billion annually, Over 20% of employer’s healthcare costs are caused by non-adherence, and 50% of patients never take the medication as prescribed. With Medication Management for Adherence, Surescripts analyzes prescription usage data from PBMs and funnels the relevant information into PrognoCIS. Providers are given real-time messages about:

  • Drugs that should be taken, but weren’t prescribed
  • Medications that could cause adverse side effects
  • Medication not being taken properly (non-adherence)

Consider a typical scenario where Medication Management Adherence provides a solution:

Kara has been prescribed medication along with its refill, but she doesn’t finish her course and drops it mid-way. She does not bother to pick up her refill. When a Patient hasn’t followed the Prescription to the ‘T’ then the PBM updates Surescripts with such information and the Surescripts notifies the patient’s Provider by sending a message through the Surescripts Accelerator.


Learn more about Clinical Decision Support

Electronic healthcare is the next frontier in patient engagement, and effective use of Clinical Decision Support is the first step to conquering this new health landscape. The HITECH Act and MACRA have laid the path for a value-based, electronic healthcare system in America, and Clinical Decision Support serves as a supplement to the value-based mindset.

The CMS notes that “There is no definitive or comprehensive list of what can constitute CDS. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and CMS broadly interpret CDS as is stated in the 2012 Final Rule. The rule allows a wide array of innovative and effective decision support tools available to providers.” The CMS provides a handy document on how Clinical Decision Support works with Meaningful Use.

Learn more about PrognoCIS EHR and sign up for a free trial here.

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