Duodecim’s Decision Support System (EBMEDS) deployed in Estonia – a step towards patient-oriented healthcare

From May 2020 onwards, Estonian physicians and nurses in primary healthcare can access the Evidence-Based Medicine electronic Decision Support (EBMEDS) developed by Duodecim. The system speeds up the decision-making process and improves patient safety by supporting physicians and nurses through patient-specific recommendations and entries.

“In order for family physicians and their teams to perform their work as well as possible, the information system must be quick, user-friendly and it must support the clinical decision-making process. Duodecim’s decision support EBMEDS provides physicians with patient-specific recommendations and entries that bring together the latest medical knowledge and the patient’s health record,” says the Minister of Social Affairs of Estonia, Tanel Kiik. “The decision support system saves the time of physicians and supports the utilisation of existing health data. Implementing a solution like this is an important milestone on our path to patient-oriented healthcare.”

Applying genetic information in health risk assessment and treatment is the future

The decision support system will be adopted throughout Estonia, and it will include the health data of all Estonian citizens. Thanks to the system, it will also be possible to apply genetic information in treatment and the assessment of health risks in the future.

“The clinical decision support system is the first solution implemented in Estonia that is used to store and analyse information about people’s health, including diagnoses, medications, test results and treatment regimens in the past five years. In future, genetic risk scores and other indicators of people’s lifestyles will be added to the system. The decision support system is based on the treatment  guidelines of both Estonia and the international community,” explains Karin Kõnd, who is in charge of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund’s decision support system project.

Supports making evidence-based clinical decisions and prevents medical errors

The decision support system was developed in close collaboration with family physicians. According to doctor Reet Laidoja, President of the Family Physicians’ Association of Estonia, the decision support systems allows physicians to focus more on communicating with their patients.

“The system provides physicians with evidence-based treatment recommendations according to the patient’s health data. Quick access to health data is particularly important in the case of patients with several chronic diseases and medications and when the interactions of these medications must be taken into account. This solution helps us make better, evidence-based decisions and prevents medical errors,” says Laidoja.

EBMEDS 2.0 – Next-generation health data analysis solution

“Estonia is our first customer that has started to use the new cloud-based EBMEDS 2.0 platform of the decision support system. From the integration, we have gained valuable experience in the implementation of a new platform, which will benefit us when Finnish customers begin to use the new platform as well,” says Peter Nyberg, Duodecim’s Senior Medical Advisor and a decision support system expert.

“The cloud-based service is a next-generation solution for analysing health data. It includes more than 45,000 medical reports and over 7,000 evidence-based documents that support clinical work,” says Siim Nahkur, Managing Partner at Celsius Data and Duodecim Publishing Company Ltd’s representative in Estonia.

The decision support system integrated into the desktops of family physicians is complemented by the online portal of Celsius Synbase, which includes access to 16 databases required in clinical work. As part of this portal, Estonians have access to the Estonian version of the Doctor’s Handbook published by Duodecim Publishing Company Ltd.

Read also the article A decision support system can cater to many needs »
Learn more from Duodecim’s Evidence-Based Medicine Electronic Decision Support website »