Three Surprising Reasons Why Clinical Decision Support Tools Are Here to Stay

behavioral health resources scaled

If you work in behavioral health and human services, you’ve likely heard your peers talk about adopting clinical decision support (CDS) tools. While each technology platform varies slightly, in general, they are all designed to help deliver timely information at the point of care to help clinicians make informed, data-driven decisions.

Given the rise in value-based care and reimbursement models that emphasize quality over quantity, many provider organizations are leveraging these and other technology-enabled clinical tools to help them deliver quality care and identify the best treatment path for clients using evidence-based research. Based on recent conversations with several leading behavioral healthcare organizations, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most compelling use cases for leveraging CDS tools at the point of care. Here are just a few that your agency should consider if you’re searching for new ways to boost productivity and support better outcomes across your programs and services.

1. Care teams can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits during business hours instead of during nights and weekends.

Many licensed care providers are required to invest time and money pursuing educational activities designed to help them stay up-to-date on the latest best practices. Due to intense schedules, finding time to complete required courses often encroaches into personal time, which can contribute to professional burn out. Some (not all) clinical decision support tools that are integrated within electronic health record (EHR) platforms actually allow clinicians to earn CME credits by simply using the tool during their normal work hours. If you are evaluating CDS vendors, you should verify if they can support this capability.

2. Clinical decision support tools can simplify the complexity of treating clients with co-morbidities.

Supporting individuals with behavioral health issues can become exponentially more complex when you layer on other chronic medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or hepatitis. If your client population commonly presents with one or more conditions, clinical decision support tools can help you leverage the latest, evidence-based best practices, therapies and medication protocols that factor in multiple co-morbidities and help you care for that person holistically.

3. Clinical decision support tools can help you succeed in value-based care.

The new normal in reimbursement models rewards providers for quality over quantity. Many provider organizations are implementing clinical decision support tools to help care teams amplify their existing clinical expertise by putting the right information at their fingertips.

One of the most interesting applications we’ve seen lately involved a care organization that identified an opportunity to improve outcome measures for clients with a major depressive disorder. Scores were consistently rating lower than the national average. To address this issue, the clinical staff worked together with their internal IT resources to build business rules within their electronic health record that triggered clinical recommendations (medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.) based on the diagnosis code and assessment scores. The result – Team members were able to more consistently deliver more effective care for an at-risk population.

It’s exciting to see new technology-enabled solutions (like CDS) being adopted by behavioral health and human services organizations that could very well transform how behavioral healthcare is delivered.

Contact an EHR Software Expert

At Qualifacts, we are committed to serving behavioral health, rehabilitative (PT/OT/SLP), and human services organizations by providing top-rated EHR solutions and services. Our team consists of seasoned professionals with hands-on clinical and administrative experience in these vital service areas. We understand the unique challenges you face and are here to assist you in selecting the most suitable solutions for your organization’s needs. Let’s kickstart the conversation that can transform your services. Complete this brief form to get started.