Clinical decision support algorithms (CDSAs) are digitized tools that combine an individual’s health information with the health worker’s knowledge and clinical protocols to assist in making diagnosis and treatment decisions. They analyze patient data, providing prompts and reminders that help health care workers deliver a range of services within a continuum of care.
Despite several initiatives underway around the use of these digital tools in low-resource settings, there remains a lack of awareness of their impact and cost-effectiveness at the national level, as well as a growing need to streamline how health data is collected and used for decision-making. Though more research is needed, initial evidence suggests that CDSAs can reduce barriers to quality of care and, ultimately, health disparities, leading to greater health impact.
This fact sheet summarizes key considerations that countries, implementing partners, and donors should keep in mind when planning for CDSA implementation. It also describes the work PATH, as part of its Tools for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness initiative, is leading to adapt CDSAs for country context and incorporate them into health systems to enable better and more targeted patient care.
Publication date: February 2021