The Reading Room

Preparing for CDS: Help physicians make better decisions

by Solomon Banjo

The Daily Briefing recently covered a Medscape Medical News article discussing the challenge of differentiating between "careful" and "defensive" medicine. This challenge is most acutely felt in the ED where doctors often don’t have relationships with patients and therefore lack the clinical information necessary for optimal care.

According to the U.S. Congress of Technology Assessment, "defensive medicine" is defined as physicians ordering tests, procedures, or visits, or avoiding high-risk patients or procedures "primarily (but not necessarily solely) to reduce their exposure to malpractice liability.” Unsurprisingly, defensive medicine is expensive and has contributed significantly to the rise in health care spending—but experts say it’s hard to draw a line between being appropriately cautious and overly aggressive.

This challenge is most acutely felt in the ED, where doctors often don’t have relationships with patients and therefore lack the clinical information necessary for optimal care.

Imaging leaders are no strangers to this challenge and the strain it can put on resources. (We covered some of the ways to meet this demand for prompt imaging in our study, Elevating Interdepartmental Workflow.)

Is CDS the answer?

Clinical decision support (CDS) is an effective way to support physician decision-making with evidence-based guidelines. When executed properly, CDS can ensure appropriate use of imaging by reducing utilization in the ED and the inpatient and outpatient settings.

The Medicare Imaging Demonstration revealed that hasty implementation of CDS can negate its many potential benefits—so with CMS’s upcoming mandate, it’s critical that providers implement CDS correctly.

We're hosting a panel discussion with early adopters from Partners HealthCare, the American College of Radiology, and multiple conveners of the Medicare Imaging Demonstration on Wednesday, April 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET. In this discussion, we’ll review the CMS mandate, regulations, and pilot programs before moving into a Q&A with our guest experts on implementation strategy and more.

Register now and submit your questions in advance.

REGISTER HERE

Want to know more about CDS?

Our 2015 national meeting will provide members with the tools and best practices to meet the upcoming CDS mandate.

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