If you have achieved Stage One Meaningful Use requirements or are planning to attest in the future, you are likely aware of the required core measure for implementing and tracking at least one clinical decision support (CDS) rule. The goal of this measure, along with maintaining active problem and medication lists and recording vitals and smoking status, is to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care.

So what exactly is CDS and why is it important?  In simple terms, CDS gives physicians the clinical information they need for decision-making tasks.  For example, during a patient exam, CDS tools can provide prompting to help a doctor determine a diagnosis or select an appropriate treatment plan. Alternatively, a provider may use CDS technology to improve documentation or identify billing codes or determine the most relevant data to forward to a specialist.

It’s important to keep in mind that CDS tools don’t make the actual clinical decisions for a physician, but support a physician’s own decision-making by sifting through existing data and presenting the most relevant information. As more clinical information becomes available online from EHRs and health information exchanges, providers will rely more heavily on CDS technologies to identify the most pertinent information for a given situation.

Medicomp has spent over 30 years building and perfecting CDS technology within our MEDCIN Engine. MEDCIN is powerful technology that is imbedded in numerous EHR systems, as well as in our new Quippe product.  What this means is that the MEDCIN Engine works behind the scenes to identify clinically relevant data based on thousands of scenarios. EHR users are then presented with usable information at the point of care.

Having MEDCIN incorporated into Quippe gives physicians CDS tools within an intuitive documentation and patient management platform. The knowledge engine adapts to the unique clinical presentation of each patient and gives providers all the critical information needed for compliance, reimbursement, and caring for the patient.

The CDS tools become even more powerful when Quippe is imbedded into an EHR, such as InteGreat EHR. As a physician enters a patient encounter in InteGreat, the power of the MEDCIN Engine comes alive. MEDCIN is mapped to thousands of medical concepts in a wide variety of reference and billing terminologies, including LOINC, RxNorm, SnoMed Ct, ICD, and CPT. During the documentation process, MEDCIN searches its extensive knowledge base, as well as patient-specific data from lab and test results, previous therapies, and history. The Engine integrates and interprets the data, then offers the physician highly relevant information to aid with diagnosis and treatment plans. With the swipe of a fingertip, the physician can incorporate these suggestions directly into the encounter documentation.

Though Stage Two Meaningful Use is not finalized, look for the ONC to add additional CDS objectives in the core measures.


David Lareau is Chief Operating Officer of Medicomp Systems. Since 1995, Lareau has lead the company’s operations and product management and helped to grow Medicomp’s business and product line.