Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support, The Future of Medicine
The incorporation of computers into the delivery of healthcare has been an ever evolving process and has now become a necessary part in the treatment of patients. Practically every aspect of the diagnosing process in some way incorporates the help of computers from electronic medical records, medical imagery, lab work and so on. This begs the question will computers someday replace physicians as diagnosticians? According to some the answer is yes, computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) will. CAD will serve as a tool in what is called Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support.
Due to our lack of understanding of the complexities of the human body we leave the diagnosing to a subject matter expert and trust in their judgment. However what if their judgment is flawed or they do not have the best current evidence to support their claims of the proper treatment options? Many healthcare providers today learned through medical school the proper ways to treat different conditions, but what if what they learned in med school is outdated? What if there is something better that works more efficiently and provides better outcomes? Healthcare providers have busy schedules leaving them little to no time to stay up to date on the best current evidence to support new breakthroughs in the medical field. There is only so much that a physician can know yet we expect them to base their treatment plans on evidence that has been derived from years of experience in treating patients.
Using Evidence-Based Medicine in order to diagnose and treat patients is a very long and demanding process for physician’s and explains why the process of visiting a healthcare provider seems to take so long. When diagnosing and treating a patient it is not as simple as checking their symptoms and then treating those symptoms based on a finite list of options. Patients are more complex than that, one patient complaining of chest pain may have a completely different diagnosis then another complaining of the same thing. Physicians must first learn every aspect of a patient’s health history and combine that information with their current symptomatology. They must then consult their knowledge and experiences based on past cases with similar patients, as well as consult other physicians to determine a diagnosis. Once they have made their final diagnosis they then must do research to determine, based on current evidence, the best treatment options. This process of using evidence to support physician diagnosis and treatment is now the standard protocol for healthcare providers. What if there was a system that incorporated the collective medical experience of millions of healthcare providers, Electronic Medical Record’s, Clinical Trials, Journal Articles and 510K’s, into a single CAD tool and was available to the physician at the point of care?
With such a CAD tool combining all pertinent data to aid in the diagnosing process, there will no longer be a lack of coordination amongst all the relevant findings. Patient data, both past and present, clinical trials, journal articles and 510k’s all play an important role in the diagnosing and treatment process. With the vast amount of knowledge we have today on signs and symptoms of diseases it is no longer viable to diagnose and treat a patient simply based on the symptoms they exhibit the day they are seen. There are numerous factors of a patient’s history that play a role in the development of certain diseases and physicians do not have time to learn all the facets of every patient. There are also new studies emerging every day exhibiting the best current evidence to support new treatment options that must be taken into account. With an Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support tool that incorporates all relevant findings specific to a particular patient the treatment process can be expedited allowing time for physicians not only to properly treat patients the first time they are seen but also free up their time to treat more patients.
iBODD.com offers Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support tools to aid healthcare providers nationwide.
To learn more about the future of health care delivery please visit www.iBODD.com