How Decision Support Works

How Does Decision Support Work?

This presentation provides an overview of the development approach and standards-based architecture used to create decision support solutions in Scotland’s health and social care. It highlights the role of the Right Decision platform as the Go-To place for finding, sharing and building quality assured decision support resources.

The Right Decision Builder Toolkit

The Right Decision Builder toolkit enables you to create the decision support tools listed below, and to deliver them through multiple channels:

  • Websites
  • Downloadable mobile apps
  • Integration into electronic health and care record systems – depending on the standards and permissions system vendors offer.

Guidelines and protocols

You can embed into your guideline pages images and tools – including calculators and assessment tools, and thumbnail versions of pathways.


You can document your pathway as text and also visualise it as a flowchart. You can – as text and visualised as flowcharts. You can link nodes in your pathway to evidence, patient information, calculators and other tools.

Shared decision-making tools

The Builder Toolkit provides standard templates and structures based on quality standards for created shared decision aids to support conversation and a joint decision between professional and citizen.


You can create calculators for common scoring and assessment tools.

Decision trees (algorithms)

You can create apps and websites that guide the user through a series of options so that they choose the most appropriate pathway based on the logic built into decision trees. The decision trees can provide a series of “Yes/No” questions, with or without weighting for level of importance. Alternatively, these decision trees can build in more complex formulae based on data the user enters.

Algorithms and prompts to integrate into electronic health and care record systems

The Right Decision Builder provides a tool that enables you to write algorithms in an open standards format that enables integration with health and care record systems that employ the same standards. Training is required to write these algorithms.

Following the appropriate level of quality assurance (hyperlink to section below), you can publish your tools to the Right Decision Mega-App. You can also get developer support to publish to Google Play and the Apple App store.

Quality assurance and CE marking

Before you can make your decision support tool live, you need to ensure that you have met the requirements of:

  1. The Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) for Mobile Apps for Health and Care Professionals and the QAF Guidance
    Meeting the requirements of the QAF is a two-stage process:
    1. Before initiating development, submit a pre-development proposal to the Quality Assurance Panel.
      Completing this proposal will help you to think through the capacity and sustainability issues and any risks associated with your resource.
    2. When you have completed development of your app, you should submit your post-development form to the Panel.
      The Quality Assurance Panel will review your submission and advise on any improvements you need to make before your app can be published through the Right Decision platform
  2. CE marking as a medical device
    Some decision support tools are classified as medical devices as defined by the EU Medical Devices Directive and the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
    To determine whether your planned decision support tool is a medical device, you should refer to the MHRA Guidance and the EU Directive 93/42/EEC.
    The QAF Guidance provides an overview of CE-marking requirements, as well as some templates and resources to help you with the process.

From October 2018- to March 2019 a small number of early adopter sites will be testing the Right Decision Builder tools and helping us to develop them further. At this time only the early adopter sites have access to the Builder. If you would like to discuss becoming an early adopter please email Dr Ann Wales.

Decision Support Development Journey