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Clinical Decision Support in the Management of Patients With Suspected Ebola Infection

  • Adam B. Landman (a1), Eric Goralnick (a1) and Jonathan M. Teich (a1) (a2)

Abstract

Patients with suspected public health threats, such as Ebola, must be quickly identified and isolated on presentation to health care facilities. Patients can be screened by intake staff or other health care providers; however, perfect compliance is difficult to achieve. Well-designed, carefully placed clinical decision support (CDS) within the electronic health record can be a reliable partner in helping to rapidly identify, isolate, and care for patients with suspected Ebola infection and other emerging public health threats. We describe how different types of CDS can be applied in the clinical workflow and share how we implemented CDS to force Ebola screening upon patient presentation to our emergency department. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:591–594)

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Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Adam B. Landman, MD, MS, MIS, MHS, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Neville House, Boston, MA 02115 (e-mail: alandman@partners.org).

References

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1. Keneally, M, Candea, B. Texas hospital blames records flaw as reason Ebola patient was first released. ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/texas-hospital-blames-records-flaw-reason-ebola-patient/story?id=25912405. Published October 2, 2014. Accessed October 29, 2014.
2. Leape, LL. Error in medicine. JAMA. 1994;272(23):1851-1857.
3. Osheroff, JA, Teich, JM, Levick, D, et al. Improving Outcomes with Clinical Decision Support: An Implementer's Guide. 2nd ed. HIMSS; 2012.
4. Friedman, CP. A “fundamental theorem” of biomedical informatics. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2009;16(2):169-170.
5. Weingart, SN, Simchowitz, B, Shiman, L, et al. Clinicians’ assessments of electronic medication safety alerts in ambulatory care. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(17):1627-1632.
6. Case definition for Ebola virus disease (EVD). US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/healthcare-us/evaluating-patients/case-definition.html. Updated November 16, 2014. Accessed February 25, 2015.

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