Clinical decision support systems and infection prevention: To know is not enough

  • Marc-Oliver Wright
    Address correspondence to Marc-Oliver Wright, MT(ASCP), MS, CIC, Director of Quality Improvement and Infection Control, NorthShore University HealthSystem, 2650 Ridge Ave, Burch 124, Evanston, IL 60201.
    Department of Infection Control, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL

    Department of Quality Improvement, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL
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  • Ari Robicsek
    Department of Infection Control, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL

    Department of Clinical Analytics, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL

    Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
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Published:March 20, 2015DOI:


      • A review of clinical decision support systems in infection prevention is presented.
      • Elements of success for decision support design and deployment are described.
      • Practical examples and the process of design at a single institution are provided.
      Clinical decision support (CDS) systems are an increasingly used form of technology designed to guide health care providers toward established protocols and best practices with the intent of improving patient care. Utilization of CDS for infection prevention is not widespread and is particularly focused on antimicrobial stewardship. This article provides an overview of CDS systems and summarizes key attributes of successfully executed tools. A selection of published reports of CDS for infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship are described. Finally, an individual organization describes its CDS infrastructure, process of prioritization, design, and development, with selected highlights of CDS tools specifically targeting common infection prevention quality improvement initiatives.

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