Clinical Decision Support in the PICU: Implications for Design and Evaluation∗

Adam C. Dziorny*, Julia A. Heneghan, Moodakare Ashwini Bhat, Dean J. Karavite, L. Nelson Sanchez-Pinto, Jennifer McArthur, Naveen Muthu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To assess the current landscape of clinical decision support (CDS) tools in PICUs in order to identify priority areas of focus in this field. DESIGN: International, quantitative, cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Role-specific, web-based survey administered in November and December 2020. SUBJECTS: Medical directors, bedside nurses, attending physicians, and residents/advanced practice providers at Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Network-affiliated PICUs. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The survey was completed by 109 respondents from 45 institutions, primarily attending physicians from university-affiliated PICUs in the United States. The most commonly used CDS tools were people-based resources (93% used always or most of the time) and laboratory result highlighting (86%), with order sets, order-based alerts, and other electronic CDS tools also used frequently. The most important goal providers endorsed for CDS tools were a proven impact on patient safety and an evidence base for their use. Negative perceptions of CDS included concerns about diminished critical thinking and the burden of intrusive processes on providers. Routine assessment of existing CDS was rare, with infrequent reported use of observation to assess CDS impact on workflows or measures of individual alert burden. CONCLUSIONS: Although providers share some consensus over CDS utility, we identified specific priority areas of research focus. Consensus across practitioners exists around the importance of evidence-based CDS tools having a proven impact on patient safety. Despite broad presence of CDS tools in PICUs, practitioners continue to view them as intrusive and with concern for diminished critical thinking. Deimplementing ineffective CDS may mitigate this burden, though postimplementation evaluation of CDS is rare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E392-E396
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • clinical decision support
  • electronic health record
  • implementation
  • medical decision-making
  • medication alert system
  • surveys and questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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