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A clinical decision support system (CDSS) is a type of software system that supports the decision-making of a clinician or health care professional. These systems are commonly defined as any type of application system that presents analytical data to help doctors or other medical professionals make decisions.
A clinical decision support system is also known as a clinical decision support program (CDS program).
CDS systems may be standalone software programs, or they may be integrated into parts of broader electronic health record or electronic medical records systems. Vendors offer these products in different ways, as many comprehensive EMR/EHR systems incorporate elements of clinical decision support. In some ways, clinical decision support systems may be seen as contributing to better patient outcomes, for example, in identifying improper diagnoses or other issues in a clinical workflow. This is in keeping with government directives such as the HITECH act and meaningful use requirements that promote the use of digital tools to help medical providers to deliver a higher quality of patient care.
Clinical decision support systems are also constructed in different ways. Some of them use machine learning algorithms exclusively, while others have a particular knowledge base that works differently to present trend data or other medical data to users. The general idea of clinical decision support systems is that they support a doctor’s clinical and medical decisions, in much the same way that enterprise decision support systems (DSS) assist business executives in making decisions about a corporation or other enterprise.