Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 325–331 | Cite as

Designing a Decision Support System for Existing Clinical Organizational Structures: Considerations From a Rheumatology Clinic

  • Örjan Dahlström
  • Ingrid Thyberg
  • Ursula Hass
  • Thomas Skogh
  • Toomas Timpka
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to identify the social and organizational requirements for a decision support system (DSS) to be implemented in a clinical rheumatology setting, utilizing data-mining techniques. Field observations and focus group interviews were used for data collection. The decision-making was found to be situated, patient-focused, and long-term in nature. At the same time, the main part of peer-to-peer communication was informal. Patient records were involved in almost every decision. The conclusion is that the main challenges, when introducing a DSS at a rheumatology unit, are adapting the system to informal communication structures and integrating it with patient records. Considering incentive structures, understanding workflow and incorporating awareness are relevant issues when addressing these issues in future studies.


Decision support systems Rheumatology Healthcare teams Organizational analyses Qualitative methods 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Örjan Dahlström
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ingrid Thyberg
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ursula Hass
    • 4
  • Thomas Skogh
    • 3
  • Toomas Timpka
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Behavioural SciencesLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.The Swedish Institute for Disability ResearchLinköping and Örebro UniversityLinköpingSweden
  3. 3.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Molecular and Clinical MedicineLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  4. 4.Centre for Medical Technology Assessment, Department of Health and SocietyLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  5. 5.Section of Social Medicine, Department of Health and SocietyLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  6. 6.Department of Computer and Information ScienceLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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