Putting meaning into meaningful use: A roadmap to successful integration of evidence at the point of care

Thomas McGinn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Pressures to contain health care costs, personalize patient care, use big data, and to enhance health care quality have highlighted the need for integration of evidence at the point of care. The application of evidence-based medicine (EBM) has great promise in the era of electronic health records (EHRs) and health technology. The most successful integration of evidence into EHRs has been complex decision tools that trigger at a critical point of the clinical visit and include patient specific recommendations. The objective of this viewpoint paper is to investigate why the incorporation of complex CDS tools into the EMR is equally complex and continues to challenge health service researchers and implementation scientists. Poor adoption and sustainability of EBM guidelines and CDS tools at the point of care have persisted and continue to document low rates of usage. The barriers cited by physicians include efficiency, perception of usefulness, information content, user interface, and over-triggering. Building on the traditional EHR implementation frameworks, we review keys strategies for successful CDSs: (1) the quality of the evidence, (2) the potential to reduce unnecessary care, (3) ease of integrating evidence at the point of care, (4) the evidence's consistency with clinician perceptions and preferences, (5) incorporating bundled sets or automated documentation, and (6) shared decision making tools. As EHRs become commonplace and insurers demand higher quality and evidence-based care, better methods for integrating evidence into everyday care are warranted. We have outlined basic criteria that should be considered before attempting to integrate evidenced-based decision support tools into the EHR.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16
JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical decision support tools
  • Framework
  • Implementation


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