How To Get CDS Adopted in Your Health System

Find out how these radiologists got early clinical decision supprt adoption passed.



August 2015

In April 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) was signed into law. Among the various provisions of the bill was a mandate requiring physicians who ordered advanced diagnostic imaging exams to consult government-approved, evidence-based appropriate-use criteria through a clinical decision support (CDS) system.

This provision of PAMA, H.R. 4302, was a huge success for the imaging community and for patients; CDS tools created by radiologists are key to reducing unnecessary imaging and creating higher-value care.

Although for some radiologists advocating for CDS is complete, others have more work to do. By being part of the first line of planning, radiologists can ensure they have a critical place at the innovation table and remain involved in future CDS efforts. Check out these early-adopters were able to convince their hospitals to go ahead with adoption.

First, find your allies. Start by determining who can best help you articulate why CDS needs to be adopted and what radiologists bring to the table, says Liebscher. This may be the chief of your department or another radiology leader in your practice. They will likely have some influence and be able to help you convince your hospital leadership to make change.

Next, you and your allies should approach those who can help you get the project started, says David S. Hirschorn, MD, director of radiology informatics at Staten Island University Hospital, in Staten Island, NY. He suggests looking first to your chief medical information officer.

Then, go to the heads of various clinical departments, such as the heads of the department of medicine and the department of surgery. These individuals will be able to understand the value of appropriate imaging and will likely be receptive to the potential cost savings from CDS. Rajendra P. Kedar, MD, Clinical Director, Department of Radiology at Tampa General Hospital, Fla., gave a presentation to his hospital administration team and offered to lead a utilization program that would reduce unnecessary imaging in the hospital. With the support from multiple departments, Kedar was able to get CDS adopted into his health system.

Once you have support from your leadership, don’t just stop there. Continue advocating amongst your colleagues and other doctors in the hospital, says Kedar. Although he had the support of the hospital leaders, he wanted to ensure all referring physicians were also on board. So, he and his colleagues began educating the referring physicians of the hospital, showing them the opportunities to collect data and improve patient care. Not only did this make radiologists the face of this important change, but because of the cooperation and support of all staff, “our transition was fairly seamless,” he noted.

by Meghan Edwards, copywriter for the Bulletin

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