Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

Computer decision support systems in practice

Computer decision support systems (CDS) can increase the uptake of guidelines by physicians.
Data represented by 3-D coloured lights in yellow, green and blue
© UoD and BSAC

Computer decision support systems (CDS) can increase the uptake of guidelines by physicians.

Nevertheless, they are difficult to implement, require significant resources for implementation and maintenance and uptake by physicians is often suboptimal.

CDS are probably most useful if they are integrated in the electronic health record and computerised physician order entry (CPOE). Ideally the CDS algorithms take into account individual patient information (e.g. microbiologic data, body weight, renal function, concomitant medication, comorbidities etc.) and epidemiologic data (e.g. institutional or unit-specific antibiograms) to guide the prescriber to choose optimal antibiotic therapy with regard to antibiotic choice, dosing and duration and prescribe appropriate microbiologic and imaging tests.

In practice the integration of individual patient information is difficult to achieve since databases may not be easy to link or data may not be coded to a standard terminology (e.g. it becomes difficult to use microbiologic data if there is no clear code identifying the terms “S. aureus”, “Staphylcococus aureus”, “Staph. aureus”, “MSSA” etc. as the same concept).

User friendliness, functionality and seamless integration into the clinical workflow are probably also key for successful implementation of CDS. Any “alerts” of the CDS system should have a high positive predictive value (i.e. few false alarms) in order to avoid “alert fatigue” and subsequent ignoring of alerts by prescribers.

In summary CDS systems currently still face significant obstacles. With the widespread adoption of electronic health records and the ever increasing availability of electronic devices at the point of care it remains to be hoped that CDS systems will become a key pillar of antibiotic stewardship in the future.

© UoD and BSAC
This article is from the free online

Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education