CCKM: Center for Clinical Knowledge Management

The Center for Clinical Knowledge Management (CCKM) evaluates and organizes evidence to drive clinical decisions that promote efficiency, consistency and quality throughout UW Health.

About us

What we do

The Center for Clinical Knowledge Management develops and maintains clinical practice tools (guidelines, policies, best practice advisories, therapy plans, order sets, etc.) that define and enable the adoption of evidence-based care across the continuum of health needs.

In addition to developing these clinical practice tools, CCKM:

  • Standardizes the presentation of clinical decision support tools to enhance the usability and increase uptake of them to reduce unwarranted variation in care

  • Provides a single point of contact and substantive support for any UW Health committee, department or care team wishing to develop a clinical practice tool for managing the care of UW Health patients

For questions about CCKM, email


Clinical practice tool types

CCKM is responsible for the following clinical practice tool types:

Set of clinical actions outlined in a step-by-step manner using text or a visual algorithm to describe standard practice of how to perform a clinical skill. All outlined steps are within the scope of practice/licensure of the executing staff member. Procedures could be initiated by a specific order or predefined clinical criteria (e.g., medication titration, filling a syringe or mixing a medication, settings to place on equipment or a machine, inserting a urinary catheter, caring for a central line).

  • Clinical Practice Guideline: A comprehensive, systematic review of available evidence and multidisciplinary expert consensus that describes clinical practice recommendations related to the care of specific patient populations or focused clinical topics. Guideline recommendations are formed by evaluation of the quality of evidence, balance of benefits versus harms, patient preferences and values and clinical experience. Guidelines are transparent in their bias, gaps in literature, conflicts of interest, funding and variance in clinical experience. Guideline recommendations are graded for confidence and strength of recommendation.

  • Consensus Care Guideline: Evidence-based clinical practice recommendations for specific patient populations or topics. Consensus care guidelines are created using a multidisciplinary team of content experts and are graded for confidence and strength of recommendation.

  • External Guideline Endorsement: A collection of visual aids, algorithms, tables and resources to drive UW Health implementation of externally published clinical practice guidelines. Local tools rely on the grading of evidence present in the guideline of reference.

Mandatory instructional writing that describes expected practice for how UW Health staff and providers are to interact, touch and communicate with patients and their families in a given situation and involve areas in which clinicians are considered experts.

A predetermined and unalterable set of clinical actions which are initiated via a specific order or predefined clinical criteria. Once initiated, these actions allow a staff member to perform care outside the scope of their practice/licensure as outlined in the protocol.

Patient-specific set of recurring orders, treatment information and steps based on Beacon Treatment Protocols, which are pre-built templates created from validated, evidence-based treatment regimens. They cross patient encounters with a structured approach arranged by cycle and day to address a particular clinical problem. Beacon Treatment Plans are typically used for chemotherapy treatment regimens.

A customizable, practice‐specific tool based on discrete patient or practice specific data that presents patient-specific treatment recommendations or information in real time to the clinician while in the electronic health record. Epic defines this tool as a “Best Practice Advisory” but it can be and has been interchanged with “Best Practice Alert” at UW Health.

A collection of tools that emphasize health promotion, disease prevention and monitoring. It includes the full area of preventive services and select chronic conditions designed to minimize the risk of premature sickness and death and to assure optimal physical, mental and emotional health. In addition to a clinician facing electronic health record tools, Health Maintenance can be configured to automatically remind patients of routine procedures, labs and immunizations through MyChart.

Predefined combinations of order choices for a specific diagnosis, patient population, condition or event that supports evidence‐based practice, quality and outcomes reporting. They use a standard format and standard nomenclature. Order sets are predominately used in inpatient, ED and pre/postoperative ambulatory settings.

Clinical decision support algorithms supporting clinical and operational workflows. Allows for efficient order placement based on evidence-based recommendations and documentation to support patient care.

A patient database identifying individuals who share a common attribute (i.e. disease process) and are used to monitor and report related data. Reports, including Reporting Workbench templates and Clarity queries, can be configured to abstract data from a registry.

A reporting tool which gives end users a template‐driven GUI system for running on‐demand queries and taking immediate action on the results received by a query, such as adding a patient to a personal electronic roster.

A combination of order choices for a specific diagnosis, patient population, condition or event (like an order set), and in addition comprises other elements such as documentation fields, chief complaints, diagnoses and levels of service. Smart sets are typically used in the ambulatory setting.

Therapy plans provide a simple way for providers to order reoccurring, serial therapies, such as non‐chemotherapy infusions or apheresis.