Five stages of CDS adoption journey

Stage 4: Implementation phase
Understanding what the process involves

Successful implementation is highly dependent on stakeholders actively participating in the planning, as well as design phases, to ensure workflow is supported in the various levels of the organisation.

Step 1: Strategy

Step 1: Strategy

Defining project scope

  • A successful implementation begins with a well-defined project charter and goals. A clear definition of your problem statement (see “Discovery phase”) provides a good starting point.

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Step 2:  Engagement

Step 2: Engagement

Planning and development

  • This is when the project team reviews the workflow, project charter (goals, scope, governance, expectations), sets expectations of clinicians’ role and prepares the orders (content).
  • Preparation and development of content should be tracked and managed to ensure any risks are identified that could impact the timeline or the project.

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Step 3: Preparation

  • This is the time for the client's project team to prepare a training environment and run a user testing and acceptance test. After that, the project team will move the content to the production environment.
  • Before the project go-live, do a complete testing of the order sets and functionality. Be prepared for possible downtime.
  • Communication is crucial to all the stakeholders who will be using the order sets.

Step 4 : Go-live

  • There should be a robust post go-live plan defined by the project team, including technical quality assurance (QA) and clinical QA. Remember, this is not a pure IT project.

Step 5: Sustain and Optimise

  • The project team should periodically review usage of the solution. Our recommendation is to do a 30-, 60-, 90-days review.
  • If you are using Elsevier’s solutions, you can ask for time savings analysis pre- and post- go-live.


The time taken to develop and deploy CDS into an EHR platforms differs from solution to solution.

A typical deployment timeline for clinical decision support tools such as order sets and care planning take at least 18 weeks.

Other variables impacting timeline include:

  • EHR vendor relationship
  • Number of selected orders/topics
  • Extent of localisation/customisation of content

Have questions? We have answers. For more information on our products and integration capabilities, please contact our Elsevier Solution Specialist.