Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential, On the Job, Scope of Practice

Clinical Decision Support Alerts and Credentialed Medical Assistants

We have detailed who can perform computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for meaningful use objectives, as well as the potential costs of improper CPOE. Naturally, the broader question in this discussion is why only licensed health care professionals or credentialed medical assistants are allowed to perform CPOE.

These rulings are made with patient protection as the primary goal. One way the limits on CPOE help ensure that protection involves a function of the CPOE system known as clinical decision support alerts.

Robert Anthony of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spoke about these alerts and their importance for patient safety in his presentation. The full text and video are below:

“The purpose of this really is to make sure that when information goes into a system, and it is done obviously prior to any action being taken on the orders … that somebody who has some clinical expertise or authority is able to see any of the clinical decision support alerts that pop up and say, ‘You may not want to prescribe this medication because of a contraindication.’ Then they can take action on that for patient safety, whereas I as a lay person might see a clinical decision alert, have no idea what that means, and ignore it completely. So that’s really the whole idea behind having a licensed health professional or a CMA (AAMA) to look at that.”