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In healthcare, the kinds of alerts you create for patient safety deal with issues such as contra-indications about drug interactions, and the level of complexity is staggering….


For almost 40 years, automated alerts from ground proximity warning systems have helped airline pilots avoid accidents. The healthcare field has a similar goal and is working toward creating a system of alerts that help clinicians avoid making errors. For instance, modules inserted in electronic health record (EHR) systems can check drug-to-drug interactions or warn a provider that a patient is allergic to a drug before the doctor orders it. But just as with pilots, one of the challenges to effective performance is being bombarded with too much information. How you filter that information to only the most critical items is crucial to success.

A consortium of some leading healthcare providers, software vendors and research organizations is making impressive strides at creating and sharing clinical decision support (CDS) tools and services across organizational boundaries. But the amount of information that has to be synthesized and then inserted in the electronic workflow presents a tremendous challenge.


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