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Christopher Fillmore, MD - Masters Thesis Defense


Chris Fillmore


Systematic Review of Clinical Decision Support Interventions with Potential for Inpatient Cost Reduction


June 7, 2013, 9:00 am


HSEB 5750C (BMI Conference Room)


Chris Fillmore is a postdoctoral fellow in Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah. Prior to his fellowship, he practiced aerospace medicine in the United States Air Force.

Faculty Advisory Committee:  

Kensaku Kawamoto, MD, PhD; Bruce Bray, MD; Charlene Weir, BS, PhD, RN



Healthcare costs are increasing rapidly and at an unsustainable rate in many countries, and inpatient hospitalizations are a significant driver of these costs. Clinical decision support (CDS) represents a promising approach to not only improve care but to reduce costs in the inpatient setting. The purpose of this study was to systematically review trials of CDS interventions with the potential to reduce inpatient costs, so as to identify promising interventions for more widespread implementation and to inform future research in this area.


To identify relevant studies, MEDLINE was searched up to September 2012. CDS intervention studies with the potential to reduce inpatient healthcare costs were identified through titles and abstracts, and full text articles were reviewed to make a final determination on inclusion. Relevant characteristics of the studies were extracted and summarized.


Following a screening of 6,978 articles, 60 manuscripts were included. 63.3% of studies were pre-post comparisons, and 13.3% were randomized controlled trials. 56.7% of the studies were focused on pharmacotherapy. The majority of manuscripts were published during or after 2007. 71.7% of the studies resulted in statistically and clinically significant improvements in an explicit financial measure or a proxy financial measure. Only 15% of the studies directly measured the financial impact of an intervention, whereas the financial impact was inferred in the remainder of studies. Data on cost effectiveness was available for only one study.


Significantly more research is required on the impact of clinical decision support on inpatient costs. In particular, there is a remarkable gap in the availability of cost effectiveness studies required by policy makers and decision makers in healthcare systems.