Clinical Decision Support System

What Does Clinical Decision Support System Mean?

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).

Techopedia Explains Clinical Decision Support System

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.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.