A new review study entitled “Effectiveness of computerized clinical decision support systems for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in primary care: a systematic review” summarizes the impact of Computerized Clinical Decision Support Systems (CCDSS) in the management of chronic respiratory diseases. The use of such technologies in treating diseases such as asthma and COPD can allow for custom-tailored therapies that reduce symptoms and improve patient outcomes. The study was published in the journal BMC Pulmonary Medicine.
According to the CDC, the death toll associated with chronic respiratory diseases was 3 million worldwide in 2005, and is believed to be as many as 4 million people currently. As a measure to provide and improve management and care chronic conditions, a CCDSS was created, which consists of an electronically-developed program where patients’ clinical information is uploaded and is used to generate patient-specific recommendations that are presented to clinicians for their consideration. However, despite CCDSS use in a variety of diseases, its systematic impact on the clinical assessment of chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and COPD, is still lacking. In this new research, the authors performed a systematic review to present and summarize the effects and advantages of CCDSS in patients with asthma and COPD.
The authors performed a search for randomized controlled trials using CCDSS electronic databases Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, IPA, Informit, PsychINFO, Compendex, and Cochrane Clinical Controlled Trials Register databases, performed between 2003 and 2013. From these, nineteen studies were included for the analysis after evaluating if these studies complied with the previously established inclusion criteria.
The authors found the majority of the studies focused on patients with asthma. CCDSS was found to improve asthma and COPD care in 74% of the cases (14 out of 19 studies), mainly in their diagnosis and management. In asthma patients, the most reported clinical improved outcome was asthma control and asthma quality of life.
While the effects in health care measures and clinical outcomes showed significant improvements with CCDSS, other measurements such as the impact of CCDSS in user workload and efficiency outcomes, such as consultation time and user knowledge, as well as patient satisfaction and cost care still remained un-addressed. Future trials are therefore advised to address these questions.