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AHRQ to Fund Clinical Decision Support Learning Network

July 13, 2015
by David Raths
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Goal is to help CDS artifacts become more shareable, health IT standards-based, and publicly available

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) plans to launch an initiative to disseminate and implement patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) findings through clinical decision support (CDS) at the point of care.

This initiative includes creating a PCOR CDS Learning Network to drive the field of CDS forward and to conduct CDS projects to extend existing or develop new CDS based on PCOR findings.

This is not AHRQ’s first foray into clinical decision support. The agency also funded the Clinical Decision Support Consortium (CDSC), a five-year project to find ways to make CDS knowledge more easily shareable. That project involved health systems consuming CDS as a web service generated by Partners HealthCare System in Boston.

In addition to promoting the dissemination and implementation of PCOR findings, another goal of the new initiative is to develop tools to help CDS artifacts become more shareable, health IT standards-based, and publicly available.

The PCOR CDS Learning Network will build a community of stakeholders, including clinicians, patients, professional associations, health IT developers, and others. The goal is to scale existing, well-established CDS beyond the initial setting or institution in which the CDS was developed as well as to develop new, CDS from PCOR findings and demonstrate its effectiveness to improve care in clinical practice.

 “The field of CDS, as an area of scientific research, is evolving rapidly,” AHQR wrote in its funding opportunity announcement. “The PCOR CDS Learning Network will be an agile partner that can identify the issues most important to the field, can bring together the most forward-thinking researchers and implementers, and can return those recommendations to the field with the highest chances of uptake.”