The state of the art in clinical knowledge management: An inventory of tools and techniques

Dean F. Sittig, Adam Wright, Linas Simonaitis, James D. Carpenter, George O. Allen, Bradley N. Doebbeling, Anwar Mohammad Sirajuddin, Joan S. Ash, Blackford Middleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Purpose: To explore the need for, and use of, high-quality, collaborative, clinical knowledge management (CKM) tools and techniques to manage clinical decision support (CDS) content. Methods: In order to better understand the current state of the art in CKM, we developed a survey of potential CKM tools and techniques. We conducted an exploratory study by querying a convenience sample of respondents about their use of specific practices in CKM. Results: The following tools and techniques should be priorities in organizations interested in developing successful computer-based provider order entry (CPOE) and CDS implementations: (1) a multidisciplinary team responsible for creating and maintaining the clinical content; (2) an external organizational repository of clinical content with web-based viewer that allows anyone in the organization to review it; (3) an online, collaborative, interactive, Internet-based tool to facilitate content development; (4) an enterprise-wide tool to maintain the controlled clinical terminology concepts. Even organizations that have been successfully using computer-based provider order entry with advanced clinical decision support features for well over 15 years are not using all of the CKM tools or practices that we identified. Conclusions: If we are to further stimulate progress in the area of clinical decision support, we must continue to develop and refine our understanding and use of advanced CKM capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-57
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Clinical
  • Clinical knowledge management
  • Decision support systems
  • Medical informatics applications
  • Medical order entry systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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