Thursday, June 02, 2005

Medical Decision Support Software

I just noticed an item that corroborates this.  On Medscape News, there is a report (free registration required) from the May 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.  
"High rates of ADEs [adverse drug events] may continue to occur after implementation of CPOE [computerized physician order entry] and related computerized medication systems that lack decision support for drug selection, dosing, and monitoring," the authors write. "Health care organizations desirous of preventing ADEs should consider whether candidate computerized medication systems offer decision support functions that address the most troublesome aspects of the medication administration process."
I think we need to be cautious, that computerized decision support does not turn into computerized decision making.  Still, it would not be too difficult to have the machine monitor what the physician is doing, and offer information that might be helpful.  We already have the technology: if you shop on Amazon.com, their server comes up with all kinds of useful suggestions.  Well, OK, maybe they are annoying and not useful; I don't think I've ever actually bought something their machine suggested.  But the point is that the technology already exists.