Clinical Decision Support System – a way to streamline healthcare services in Australia

Butt, Saad Masood
PhD in Computer Science,  adjunct Research Fellow, James Cook University, Brisbane, Australia


As a result of the shortage of health practitioners in Regional Queensland and other conditions such as limited nursing staff, access to diagnostics equipment due to natural disasters can be a limiting factor to affordable, basic healthcare. Given these limiting factors there is a growing need to embrace alternative technologies such as decision support system (DSS) that will enable timely and efficient access to basic healthcare. To evaluate the impact of DSS in improving the efficiency and increasing access of basic healthcare services as well as to stimulate the adoption of such systems in healthcare services this study employed a descriptive design which involved a review of recent peer-reviewed literature published on the topic of DSS in healthcare. The study established that health DSS can help in dealing with the shortage of Health Practitioner, eliminate the geo-graphical barriers that hinder access to healthcare and improve the timely access to affordable and quality basic healthcare. The research indicated significant potential in enhancing access to affordable and quality healthcare. However, challenges due to high initial costs of equipment and staff training as well as lack of adequate legal support limit the possible adoption of such systems. Therefore, to mitigate the slow uptake of DSS, there is a need to have a good will from relevant policy developers so that they can create a favorable framework to accelerate the development and uptake of DSS.

Keywords: healthcare, decision support system, health informatics, expert systems, telehealth, general practitioners, policy development