Earlier Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Tools

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Clinical decision support (CDS) provides clinicians, staff, patients or other individuals with knowledge and person-specific information, intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times, to enhance health and healthcare. Clinical Decision Support provide two levels of information which are "General Medical Knowledge and Information" that includes information on Disease, diagnosis, medications, treatments formularies, guidelines, requirements; and "Patient-Specific Information" includes information on Patient’s signs, symptoms Allergies, Lab results etc (Osheroff, et al., 2007). The tool provides patient specific information to the right healthcare professional who is assigned to the patient at the right time in the patient workflow, through right channel and in the right CDS format(Osheroff, 2010).


MYCIN, one of the CDS tool was developed in 1970 by Dr. Ted Shortliffe. MYCIN is a standalone system and its main focus in diagnosis of the infectious diseases of the blood stream. To treat such infections, system was required to identify the casual organism and recommend the appropriate drug. MYCIN was designed to behave like an expert medical consultant. Due to lack of funding and lack of interest in physicians’ users, MYCIN was never used in actual practice. It was only used by the academic informaticians like Dr. Shortliffe (Wyatt, 1999).

Earlier CDS tools are listed below

  • Regenstrief CDS
  • DXplain

Benefits of Various types of Clinical Decision Support(CDS) Tools

Historical Challenges of Clinical Decision Support (CDS) Tools


1 Osheroff J, editor. Improving medication use and outcomes with clinical decision support: a step-by-step guide. 1st ed. Chicago: HIMSS, 2009

2 Osheroff, Clinical Decision Support Medical Management, AHRQ.Rockville, Maryland:Agency for healthcare Research and Quality.2010.

3 Wyatt JC. The promises and perils of modeling medical reasoning. In: van Bemmel JH, McCray AT, editors. Yearbook of Medical Informatics 1999. Stuttgart: Schattauer Verlag;1999. p. 161-5