How nursing homes can harness clinical decision support systems

Hospitals and health systems should ensure their systems are well-connected to nursing homes, says a prominent medical academic.
By Bill Siwicki
04:34 PM
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Clinical decision support systems hold promise for influencing clinician behavior. For instance, antibiotic stewardship programs that support judicious, evidence-based use of antibiotics in nursing homes can significantly benefit from clinical decision support systems.

Workflow studies have been conducted in various clinical settings to inform the design and implementation of systematic interventions – including clinical decision support systems – and to improve the quality and safety of care. The nature of nursing homes requires distinct workflows that include accommodations for the daily living activities of residents and asynchronous communication between team members.

[Also: EHR vendors, AHIMA push use of clinical decision support to prevent patient falls]

“Nursing homes underutilize health IT compared to acute settings,” said Mustafa Ozkaynak, assistant professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Paper based charts are still being used in nursing homes. This situation leaves these settings outside of the connected world.”

The nature of nursing homes requires a different way of designing health IT for this unique setting. Workflow is complex in nursing homes because it’s a daily living setting from the resident perspective. The very same environment is a clinical setting from the clinician perspective.

[Also: Precision medicine clinical decision support system bests oncologists at picking cancer treatment]

Ozkaynak will be speaking on the subject at the HIMSS18 Conference & Exhibition during a March 8 educational session entitled “Workflow informed decision support tools for nursing homes.”

“Clinical decision support systems can increase the quality of care in nursing homes; for example, clinical decision support systems can prevent overuse of antibiotics,” Ozkaynak said. “Clinical decision support systems should be congruent with the unique workflow in nursing homes. Lack of fit to workflow will cause lack of adoption.”

Nursing homes are an important component of a health system, and hospitals and health systems should ensure their systems are well-connected to nursing homes, Ozkaynak added.

Mustafa Ozkaynak will be speaking at the HIMSS18 session, “Workflow Informed Decision Support Tools for Nursing Homes,” at 10 a.m. March 8 in the Venetian, Palazzo L.

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Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com