Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 181, Issue 4, pp 521–525 | Cite as

Electronic clinical decision support systems attitudes and barriers to use in the oncology setting

  • I. M. CollinsEmail author
  • O. Breathnach
  • P. Felle
Original Article



There is little evidence regarding attitudes to clinical decision support systems (CDSS) in oncology.


We examined the current usage, awareness, and concerns of Irish medical oncologists and oncology pharmacists in this area.


A questionnaire was sent to 27 medical oncologists and 34 oncology pharmacists, identified through professional interest groups. Respondents ranked concerns regarding their use of a CDSS on a scale from 1 to 4, with 4 being most important.


Overall, 67% (41/61) responded, 48% (13/27) of oncologists and 82% (28/34) of pharmacists surveyed. Concerns included “difficulty defining complex clinical situations with a set of rules” (mean ± SD) (3.2 ± 0.9), “ensuring evidence base is up to date and relevant” (3.2 ± 0.9) and “lack of clinically relevant suggestions” (2.9 ± 0.9). Ninety-three percent reported using a CDSS but 54% were unaware of this.


While there are benefits to using a CDSS, concerns must be addressed through user education. This may be a starting point for a user-centred design approach to the development of future local systems through a consultative process.


Information technology Clinical decision support systems Oncology Healthcare Informatics 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cancer MedicinePeter MacCallum Cancer InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyBeaumont HospitalDublinIreland
  3. 3.School of Medicine and Medical ScienceUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

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