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10IPT: Doctors, Databases & Decisions

posted May 7, 2013, 10:02 PM by Eddie Woo   [ updated May 10, 2013, 11:07 PM ]
Today we're progressing through the four principal types of DSS - we've looked at simple spreadsheets, which allows us to move on to relational databases. To understand them, we're going to take a look at one particular case where databases are especially critical for making decisions - namely, when it comes to our healthcare professionals! 
  1. Last week, we experimented with spreadsheet formulas to produce basic decision support systems. Describe some of the challenges that you faced due to the limitations of spreadsheets.

  2. Explain why relational databases are so crucial in a healthcare (or "clinical") context.

  3. Read the article, "Decision Support - a little history". Explain why DSS are particularly useful in this industry.

  4. Outline examples of CDSS that are currently in use.

  5. Evaluate the four "outstanding attributes" that define the efficacy of a CDSS in relation to how much they contribute to the system's successful use by clinical providers.

  6. Propose arguments against the widespread adoption of CDSS.

  7. The article essentially assumes that, given current trends, computer-based CDSS will become an integral part of all medical practice in the future. Predict the implications that this will have on (a) the nature of medical training and (b) the daily operations of health professionals (including therapists, general practitioners, specialists, surgeons, pharmacists, paramedics and nurses).