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Table 1 Computer-based clinical decision support (eCDS) functions (drug alerts, reminders, guideline links, and virtual health check = VHC) and procedures: examples

From: Clinical decision support must be useful, functional is not enough: a qualitative study of computer-based clinical decision support in primary care

eCDS function Procedure An example
Drug alerts In the prescription procedure, the eCDS system checks against the patient medication list whether the drug selected has an interaction with other medication and, if so, displays a pop-up with an interaction alert and a suggestion of drug change. Warfarin, in the patient’s medication list, has an interaction with the medicine chosen (ibuprofen).
Do you want to choose another medicine?
Yes No
Reminders Patient-specific reminders are elicited by three trigger events in the EPR: 1) opening a patient record, 2) recording a new diagnosis, and 3) prescribing new medication. Short version: Hypertension – check blood pressure?
The short version appears automatically, and the long version is shown when the mouse cursor hovers over the reminder. Long version: This patient has hypertension. The latest BP measurement is more than a year old. Regular follow-up has been shown to improve the control of hypertension.
Guideline links Guideline links based on patient diagnosis-list and ICD-10 codes are shown when the user clicks the diagnosis. Guideline links:
DG Hypertensio essentialis (primaria) I10
DG Fibrillatio atriorum I48
DG Angina pectoris I20
Virtual health check The user can run a VHC on her/his patients in the appointment schedule by clicking on the decision support file in her/his folder. Patient-specific decision support messages appear on the screen when the user clicks on a specific link for a patient. Name: Matti Maa (PICa): Control visit
Reminders
Drug interactions
Contraindications
Guidelines
Name: Anne Aamu (PICa): Acute visit
Reminders
Guidelines
Name: Sanni Salo (PICa): Diabetes control
Reminders
Guidelines
  1. a PIC = personal identification code.