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Empirical research

Experience with Integrating Diagnostic Decision Support Software with Electronic Health Records: Benefits versus Risks of Information Sharing

Authors:

Michael M. Segal ,

SimulConsult
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MD, PhD
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Alanna K. Rahm,

Geisinger Health System
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PhD
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Nathan C. Hulse,

Intermountain Healthcare
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PhD
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Grant Wood,

Intermountain Healthcare
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Janet L. Williams,

Geisinger Health System
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LGC
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Lynn Feldman,

SimulConsult
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Gregory J. Moore,

Geisinger Health System
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MD, PhD
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David Gehrum,

Geisinger Health System
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Michelle Yefko,

Geisinger Health System
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Steven Mayernick,

Geisinger Health System
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Roger Gildersleeve,

Intelligent Medical Objects
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MD
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Margie C. Sunderland,

Intelligent Medical Objects
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MD
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Steven B. Bleyl,

Intermountain Healthcare
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MD, PhD
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Peter Haug,

Intermountain Healthcare
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MD
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Marc S. Williams

iiGeisinger Health System
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MD
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Abstract

Introduction: Reducing misdiagnosis has long been a goal of medical informatics. Current thinking has focused on achieving this goal by integrating diagnostic decision support into electronic health records.

Methods: A diagnostic decision support system already in clinical use was integrated into electronic health record systems at two large health systems, after clinician input on desired capabilities. The decision support provided three outputs: editable text for use in a clinical note, a summary including the suggested differential diagnosis with a graphical representation of probability, and a list of pertinent positive and pertinent negative findings (with onsets).

Results: Structured interviews showed widespread agreement that the tool was useful and that the integration improved workflow. There was disagreement among various specialties over the risks versus benefits of documenting intermediate diagnostic thinking. Benefits were most valued by specialists involved in diagnostic testing, who were able to use the additional clinical context for richer interpretation of test results. Risks were most cited by physicians making clinical diagnoses, who expressed concern that a process that generated diagnostic possibilities exposed them to legal liability.

Discussion and Conclusion: Reconciling the preferences of the various groups could include saving only the finding list as a patient-wide resource, saving intermediate diagnostic thinking only temporarily, or adoption of professional guidelines to clarify the role of decision support in diagnosis.
How to Cite: Segal MM, Rahm AK, Hulse NC, Wood G, Williams JL, Feldman L, et al.. Experience with Integrating Diagnostic Decision Support Software with Electronic Health Records: Benefits versus Risks of Information Sharing. eGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes). 2017;5(1):23. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/egems.244
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Published on 06 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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