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Mohamed, Al Ameri, Al Zeyoudi, Alkindi, Al Khaja, and Hashim: Clinical decision support content development for common conditions in primary care

Introduction: Clinical decision support (CDS) tools are not frequently implemented in health care settings such as clinics and hospitals. Without access to updated guidelines at the point-of-care, physicians and other health care professionals have to often rely on memory recall to make clinical decisions.

Objectives: To develop a CDS system. Specific objectives for this study are to develop and test summaries of clinical guidelines in a format that is optimal for clinicians.

Materials and methods: Research ethics committee approval was obtained (AAMDHREC 13/64). CDS tools were developed using a planned, iterative cycle with three phases: (1) compile pre-existing guidelines from established sources, critically appraising each using selected items from the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE) instrument; (2) design CDS tools that summarize pertinent points, especially those that have a strong evidence-based recommendation or are established quantitative criteria; (3) refine each summary using a collaborative approach to build concise, usable CDS tools with a focus on usability and rapid access to information.

Results: CDS tools for selected topics were developed using an iterative compile–design–refine cycle. The process was to compile guideline summaries on common conditions encountered in primary care by physicians seeing patients in clinics. An attempt was made to restrict the length of each summary to one A4 page to improve conciseness and focus on high-yield evidence-based recommendations.

Conclusion: CDS tools can be developed for common medical conditions in an iterative cyclical process. Further research is needed to test these materials in health care settings.

Acknowledgements: Funding support from UAEU CMHS Faculty grant NP/13/20.

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