Tool to Create Clinical Decision Support Rules Gains Some Acceptance

Improving consistent implementation of clinical practice guidelines
    • October 1, 2003

During 2002 and 2003, staff at the Institute for Medical Knowledge Implementation, based in San Francisco, furthered its efforts to develop and encourage the use of a Rule Authoring Tool, which makes it easier to write clinical decision support rules, and to provide health care providers access to those rules.

Clinicians use these rules to define clinical populations and assign action steps to patients who meet the definitions.

Key Results

The institute was unable to meet all of its goals, in part because of the complexities of working with professional societies and because certain business challenges needed solutions before vendors could be engaged in developing needed technology. However, the project produced the following accomplishments:

  • Project staff trained 150 individuals in the use of the Rule Authoring Tool.
  • Project staff partnered with the American Diabetes Association to create eight decision support rules.
  • More than 100 hospitals from 20 delivery systems joined the institute's Implementation Support Network, designed to facilitate early adoption of health information technology.
  • Staff began to build interfaces with three large health information technology vendors (Siemens, Eclipsys and Epic). Pilot tests with Siemens and Eclipsys demonstrated that the engines of both vendors could process rules created with the American Diabetes Association using the application.