Beyond the threshold: Real-time use of evidence in practice

James B. Jones, Walter F. Stewart, Jonathan D. Darer, Dean F. Sittig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In two landmark reports on Quality and Information Technology, the Institute of Medicine described a 21st century healthcare delivery system that would improve the quality of care while reducing its costs. To achieve the improvements envisioned in these reports, it is necessary to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the clinical decision support that is delivered to clinicians through electronic health records at the point of care. To make these dramatic improvements will require significant changes to the way in which clinical practice guidelines are developed, incorporated into existing electronic health records (EHR), and integrated into clinicians' workflow at the point of care. In this paper, we: 1) discuss the challenges associated with translating evidence to practice; 2) consider what it will take to bridge the gap between the current limits to use of CPGs and expectations for their meaningful use at the point of care in practices with EHRs; 3) describe a framework that underlies CDS systems which, if incorporated in the development of CPGs, can be a means to bridge this gap, 4) review the general types and adoption of current CDS systems, and 5) describe how the adoption of EHRs and related technologies will directly influence the content and form of CPGs. Achieving these objectives should result in improvements in the quality and reductions in the cost of healthcare, both of which are necessary to ensure a 21st century delivery system that consistently provides safe and effective care to all patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number47
JournalBMC medical informatics and decision making
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics


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