CDS Barriers Cause Clinician Alert Fatigue and Potentially Other Adverse Effects in New Study

Updated: Aug 9

In new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), a study found that clinicians in ambulatory clinics are experiencing significant clinical decision support (CDS) barriers. These barriers are resulting in significant CDS alert fatigue.

Researchers analyzed data from 821 healthcare clinics at 117 health systems in Minnesota over a two-year period. Specifically, the research examined the association between the CDS barriers and healthcare clinic characteristics (i.e. number of physicians, number of clinics in a health system, health system affiliation, etc.)

What are common CDS barriers that researchers discovered? All hurdles related to resources, user acceptance, and technology, including redesign of workflow processes, lack of resources to build and integrate CDS and unavailable software. Rural clinics in particular experienced fatigue related to lack of training.


The research concluded that in order to mitigate these barriers, health systems must provide their affiliated ambulatory clinics with further assistance and allocate specific resources, implementation and training to reduce alert fatigue. Additionally, the study suggests how alert fatigue can even lead to physician burnout and inaccurate alerts could potentially impact patient safety.


In order for hospitals to keep their clinicians productive and patients safe, a consistent, reliable point-of-care system is needed to break down these CDS barriers and reduce alert fatigue.


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