What Is Decision Support?

Is it possible to automate the process that guides patients to the right healthcare appointment?

The concept is often referred to by different names, such as decision support, guided search, intelligent scheduling and others.

While many providers offer a way to search for the clinically appropriate physician online, the purpose of decision support is to surface the best available appointment slot with the right physician.

Decision support, in the context of healthcare scheduling, can be understood to achieve the three following functions:

  • Manage provider rules and calendar preferences with flexible controls
  • Create a rules library by specialty, doctor and appointment type to leverage best practices
  • Provide analytics with insight into consumer behavior for optimizing performance

With this system, schedulers no longer have to consult a manual each time an appointment request call comes in. In fact, they don’t even need to be in the office because it can run in the background of a consumer facing scheduling platform (for existing patients or new patients). Decision support aggregates physicians across a provider network, filters patient criteria such as condition, location, eligibility and insurance; and matches against provider rules and calendar preferences for the right appointment.

To learn more, read a new article by Sanju Pratap, Senior Director of Product, that explores the benefits of decision support at Health IT Outcomes.