• 10x10 with University of Utah

    Clinical Decision Support

Clinical Decision Support

Course Description for Clinical Decision Support

Overall Objectives and Rationale

Clinical decision support (CDS) “provides clinicians, staff, patients, or other individuals with knowledge and person-specific information, intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times, to enhance health and health care.” CDS is one of the most critical components of health information systems because they can improve patient outcomes and lead to higher-quality health care. With the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) systems reaching over 90% of health care settings in the U.S., unprecedented opportunities exist to improve the quality and value of health care through CDS interventions at the national scale. However, to improve patient outcomes, increase clinician efficiency, and reduce clinician burnout, CDS tools need to be designed and implemented according to best practices and disseminated across healthcare settings through standards-based approaches.

Course Goal

Taught by national leaders with decades of practical experience in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of CDS, this online and hands-on course teaches state-of-the-art principles and best practices to enable effective CDS. Topics include a review of the various types of CDS tools; principles of CDS governance and knowledge management; CDS technical architectures, standards (FHIR, SMART, CDS Hooks, Infobutton), tools (OpenInfobutton, OpenCDS); and CDS implementation and evaluation. The course has been offered for over 20 years as a part of the graduate program at the University of Utah Department of Biomedical Informatics, which has a five-decade long history of innovations in CDS.

Target Audience

The course is targeted at any individual who is interested in CDS, regardless of background or prior experience. The student cohort is multidisciplinary, with backgrounds in health care delivery, public health, computer science, biology, genetics, and information technology. Examples of roles that could benefit from this course include those engaged with CDS governance and implementation at health care or public health organizations, CDS designers/developers, health IT designers/developers, CDS researchers, and clinical/health services researchers interested in applying CDS in their research.

Course Structure Overview

This is a 16-week long, three credit-hour course organized in 14 modules. Each module covers a specific topic and includes recorded presentations, reading materials, a short weekly quiz, and a synchronous lab session. In addition, the course has three assignments and a semester-long group project. Weekly lab sessions are offered on Tuesdays at 7pm ET. Students can join either onsite at the Department of Biomedical Informatics or remotely via Web meeting. Lab sessions are recorded and posted to Canvas for those who cannot attend.

Course Outline

Course Outline – August - December 2021

Module #Module Title
Module 1Course overview, introduction to clinical decision support
Module 2Task and Workflow implications for CDS
Module 3Effectiveness of CDS
Module 4CDS Governance
Module 5Knowledge management and alert fatigue
Module 6CDS architecture
Module 7CDS languages and standards
Module 8SMART on FHIR and CDS Hooks
Module 9Shared decision making and CDS  considering patient preferences
Module 10Public Health and CDS
Module 11CDS to improve diagnosis making
Module 12Challenges to adoption
Module 13CDS on a national level
Module 14Future of CDS
 Final exam
 Group project – CDS system delivery and presentation 


Canvas, the University of Utah’s online teaching resource, is used to manage the course. Students will be given instructions to use Canvas after they enroll. All course materials, activities, and communication are delivered through Canvas.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • • Describe different kinds of CDS tools and their relevance to clinical problems.

  • • Apply current CDS architectures, standards and tools such as SMART on FHIR, CDS Hooks, HL7 Infobutton Standard, OpenInfobutton, and OpenCDS.

  • • Develop a CDS tool following best CDS design practices.

  • • Describe the challenges with effective CDS implementation and adoption, including potential pitfalls such as alert fatigue.

  • • Plan the implementation and evaluation strategy for a CDS intervention.

The course has no required textbook.

Optional In-Person Session

An intensive, optional, half-day in-person session held in conjunction with the AMIA 2021 Annual Symposium will be offered every year. Students attending the Symposium will get together with instructors for networking, discuss topics related to the course and answer questions.


Contact Information

Questions about AMIA 10x10? Find answers on the FAQs page.

For additional questions about the 10x10 program, please contact Susanne Arnold, Education Program Manager at susanne@amia.org or (301) 657-1291.