Apps with CDS help make better diagnoses

February 25, 2015 in Medical Technology

Mobile apps equipped with clinical decision support lead to significantly higher diagnosis rates than apps that merely record data from a patient exam, according to a study from Columbia University School of Nursing.

[See also: CDS app slashes sepsis mortality rates in half]

Published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, the report shows that when clinicians’ mobile devices prompt them to follow evidence-based guidelines, there’s a marked increase in the instances and accuracy of diagnoses.

The study took a look at diagnosis rates for tobacco use, adult and pediatric depression, and obesity across nearly 35,000 patient exams conducted by 363 registered nurses at Columbia Nursing. They were randomly assigned to use mobile apps with or without CDS.

[See also: CBI resources improve care, lower costs]

Apps with decision support led to significantly higher diagnosis rates than those with minimal tools for logging exam results:

  • Seven times more obese and overweight (33.9 percent vs. 4.8 percent)
  • Five times more tobacco use (11.9 percent versus 2.3 percent)
  • 44 times more adult depression (8.8 percent versus 0.2 percent)
  • Four times more pediatric depression (4.6 percent versus 1.1 percent)

“Our app focused specifically on the work that nurse practitioners do to identify health problems, counsel patients, and coordinate care plans, resulting in higher diagnosis rates and more opportunities for intervention,” said Suzanne Bakken, RN, a professor at Columbia Nursing and author of the report.

Read more about the study at mHealth News.

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