Background Healthcare systems devote substantial resources to the development of clinical decision support (CDS) largely independently. The process of translating evidence-based practice into useful and effective CDS may be more efficient and less duplicative if healthcare systems shared knowledge about the translation, including workflow considerations, key assumptions made during the translation process, and technical details.
Objective Describe how a national repository of CDS can serve as a public resource for healthcare systems, academic researchers, and informaticists seeking to share and reuse CDS knowledge resources or “artifacts.”
Methods In 2016, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) launched CDS Connect as a public, web-based platform for authoring and sharing CDS knowledge artifacts. Researchers evaluated early use and impact of the platform by collecting user experiences of AHRQ-sponsored and community-led dissemination efforts and through quantitative/qualitative analysis of site metrics. Efforts are ongoing to quantify efficiencies gained by healthcare systems that leverage shared, interoperable CDS artifacts rather than developing similar CDS de novo and in isolation.
Results Federal agencies, academic institutions, and others have contributed over 50 entries to CDS Connect for sharing and dissemination. Analysis indicates shareable CDS resources reduce team sizes and the number of tasks and time required to design, develop, and deploy CDS. However, the platform needs further optimization to address sociotechnical challenges. Benefits of sharing include inspiring others to undertake similar CDS projects, identifying external collaborators, and improving CDS artifacts as a result of feedback. Organizations are adapting content available through the platform for continued research, innovation, and local implementations.
Conclusion CDS Connect has provided a functional platform where CDS developers are actively sharing their work. CDS sharing may lead to improved implementation efficiency through numerous pathways, and further research is ongoing to quantify efficiencies gained.