Clinical Decision Support Systems

A clinical decision support system (CDSS) is a software tool that analyzes patient data to help caregivers make clinical decisions that will optimize outcomes. They aim to provide caregivers with timely access to accurate and reliable clinical information that is specific to a particular patient. Clinical decision support systems are considered a major step toward the practice of evidence-based medicine and offer the potential for a marked improvement in care.

In order to supply patient-specific decision support, a CDSS has to be coupled with context information about the patient's condition and clinical history. In addition, to make sure that the information is timely and reflects the current patient's condition, a CDSS needs to have access to real-time data that is relevant to the treatment. Often, this includes vital sign data. Advances in cyber physical systems make these real-time data sources more available in hospital rooms, making widespread use of CDSSs feasible.