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AHRQ awards $5 million to help integrate clinical decision support technologies into health care delivery

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded $5 million for two new health information technology (Health IT) contracts that will focus on the development, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of best practices using clinical decision support. Clinical decision support helps health professionals make informed patient care decisions.

The Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, have been selected to incorporate clinical decision support into widely used health IT products, demonstrate cross-platform utility, and establish lessons learned for clinical decision support implementation across the health IT vendor community. The projects will focus on translation of clinical guidelines and outcomes related to preventive health care and treatment of patients with multiple chronic illnesses. Clinicians' use of clinical decision support also will be evaluated.

Researchers will build on rapidly evolving knowledge from development and implementation activities to define effective clinical decision support tools and identify preferred methods and processes for incorporating these tools into electronic medical records and in busy practice settings. The projects will implement clinical decision support tools in products certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology and will apply guidelines set by the American National Standards Institute's Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel.

The research will assess potential benefits and drawbacks of clinical decision support services, including effects on patient satisfaction, measures of efficiency, cost, and risk. Researchers also will evaluate methods of creating, storing and replicating clinical decision support elements across multiple clinical sites and ambulatory practices.

For more information on AHRQ's Health IT program, visit http://healthit.ahrq.gov.

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