Clinical Decision Support Systems in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: A State of the Art Review

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2021 Apr 20:1945998211004529. doi: 10.1177/01945998211004529. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To offer practical, evidence-informed knowledge on clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) and their utility in improving care and reducing costs in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. This primer on CDSSs introduces clinicians to both the capabilities and the limitations of this technology, reviews the literature on current state, and seeks to spur further progress in this area.

DATA SOURCES: PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and Web of Science.

REVIEW METHODS: Scoping review of CDSS literature applicable to otolaryngology clinical practice. Investigators identified articles that incorporated knowledge-based computerized CDSSs to aid clinicians in decision making and workflow. Data extraction included level of evidence, Osheroff classification of CDSS intervention type, otolaryngology subspecialty or domain, and impact on provider performance or patient outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Of 3191 studies retrieved, 11 articles met formal inclusion criteria. CDSS interventions included guideline or protocols support (n = 8), forms and templates (n = 5), data presentation aids (n = 2), and reactive alerts, reference information, or order sets (all n = 1); 4 studies had multiple interventions. CDSS studies demonstrated effectiveness across diverse domains, including antibiotic stewardship, cancer survivorship, guideline adherence, data capture, cost reduction, and workflow. Implementing CDSSs often involved collaboration with health information technologists.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: While the published literature on CDSSs in otolaryngology is finite, CDSS interventions are proliferating in clinical practice, with roles in preventing medical errors, streamlining workflows, and improving adherence to best practices for head and neck disorders. Clinicians may collaborate with information technologists and health systems scientists to develop, implement, and investigate the impact of CDSSs in otolaryngology.

PMID:33874795 | DOI:10.1177/01945998211004529