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The ClinicalDecisions data model communicates real-time, immediate clinical decision support (CDS) to providers. This is helpful when a provider wants to recommend alternative medications and procedures or identify drug-drug interactions when they're placing an order.

The EHR system uses the Request event type to initiate the CDS workflow by providing the required information to the third-party app offering CDS data; the app then uses the Response event type to send back clinical insights, observations, and recommendations.

The ClinicalDecisions data model returns discrete data that the EHR system utilizes as part of an alert to advise on the provider's behavior. But to do this, the EHR system must have a corresponding CDS API that can map to the ClinicalDecisions data model. We've mostly seen this capability with Epic EHR systems, but since ClinicalDecisions was built on FHIR/CDS Hook specification, it has the potential to be supported by other EHR systems across the board.

This data model differs from the SSO data model in that the SSO data model returns a URL for the EHR system to launch the app's system, whereas ClinicalDecisions returns discrete data to offer CDS within the EHR system. ClinicalDecisions is also part of a typical ordering workflow while SSO is triggered when the user clicks a specially-configured button to launch an app within the EHR system.