Electronic health records (EHRs) with embedded clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) have the potential to improve healthcare delivery. This study was conducted to explore merits, features, and desiderata to be considered when planning for, designing, developing, implementing, piloting, evaluating, maintaining, upgrading, and/or using EHRs with CDSSs.
A mixed-method combining the Delphi technique and Analytic Hierarchy Process was used. Potentially important items were collected after a thorough search of the literature and from interviews with key contact experts (n = 19). Opinions and views of the 76 panelists on the use of EHRs were also explored. Iterative Delphi rounds were conducted to achieve consensus on 122 potentially important items by a panel of 76 participants. Items on which consensus was achieved were ranked in the order of their importance using the Analytic Hierarchy Process.
Of the 122 potentially important items presented to the panelists in the Delphi rounds, consensus was achieved on 110 (90.2%) items. Of these, 16 (14.5%) items were related to the demographic characteristics of the patient, 16 (14.5%) were related to prescribing medications, 16 (14.5%) were related to checking prescriptions and alerts, 14 (12.7%) items were related to the patient’s identity, 13 (11.8%) items were related to patient assessment, 12 (10.9%) items were related to the quality of alerts, 11 (10%) items were related to admission and discharge of the patient, 9 (8.2%) items were general features, and 3 (2.7%) items were related to diseases and making diagnosis.
In this study, merits, features, and desiderata to be considered when planning for, designing, developing, implementing, piloting, evaluating, maintaining, upgrading, and/or using EHRs with CDSSs were explored. Considering items on which consensus was achieved might promote congruence and safe use of EHRs. Further studies are still needed to determine if these recommendations can improve patient safety and outcomes in Palestinian hospitals.