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A Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) is
|“||[a]ny system designed to improve clinical decision-making related to diagnostic or therapeutic processes of care. Typically a decision support system responds to "triggers" or "flags" — specific diagnoses, laboratory results, medication choices, or complex combinations of such parameters — and provides information or recommendations directly relevant to a specific patient encounter.||”|
"CDSSs address activities ranging from the selection of drugs (e.g., the optimal antibiotic choice given specific microbiologic data) or diagnostic tests to detailed support for optimal drug dosing and support for resolving diagnostic dilemmas. Structured antibiotic order forms represent a common example of paper-based CDSSs. Although such systems are still commonly encountered, many people equate CDSSs with computerized systems in which software algorithms generate patient-specific recommendations by matching characteristics, such as age, renal function, or allergy history, with rules in a computerized knowledge base."