Web First: CDS overwhelmed by data
April 4, 2013 in Medical Technology
In looking at the impact clinical decision support systems have had on the healthcare provider community, it is tempting to refer to the old adage “Be careful what you wish for.” Because in the healthcare context, it means “You wanted more data, now you’ve got it. What are you going to do with it?”
Anthony Jones, MD, chief marketing officer of patient care and clinical informatics for Amsterdam-based Philips Healthcare, summarizes it this way: “There is an abundance of data that is being generated and it is part of a normal progression – from too little data to too much. Healthcare now needs tools to manage the data.”
The primary tool that providers need, Jones says, is visualization and today’s next generation dashboards provide that view.
“CDS systems have become more sophisticated because they are providing more real time data – but they can’t overwhelm the user,” he says. “We are reaching the state in healthcare where there is a good progression to getting to where we should be. Now it becomes about understanding what is happening between data points and that has been fascinating to watch as it unfolds.”
Philips introduced its new dashboard at HIMSS13 in New Orleans. The dashboard is built on top of its IntelliSpace eCareManager 3.9 software.
“The visualization aspect from an algorithm standpoint is advanced, but the technology is relatively simple,” Jones said. “While the appetite for more data to fill in the gaps is strong, you don’t want to overwhelm the capacity of the human brain to pick up what is most meaningful.”
The conventional method for alerts has been through audio alarms, but users routinely ignore them. Orb uses visual signs in a series of circles, dots and colors to signal clinicians in a more specific way so they know the nature of each message.
“As you bring more data together, the algorithm is smarter and that is what we’re trying to get to,” Jones said. “It is designed to leverage the critical care physician – a precious resource in the hospital.”