This paper describes the conceptual framework and preliminary results of an outcome-oriented decision-support system prototype for the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU). The major characteristics of this design include: (1) its problem-based approach to solving clinical problems; (2) an integrated structure with the hospital information system in terms of its data, model and knowledge bases; (3) proposed alternative modes of interaction that include monitoring and critiquing; (4) and research modules that design, manage, and analyze outcome-based clinical studies. At present, an initial prototype has been implemented on a PC as a set of modules accessible from a main menu. The structural framework of the overall system is fairly well defined but only limited quantitative, statistical and expert knowledge has been captured. The second phase of the project involves porting the prototype to a Unix workstation environment, refining and adding models to the model base, expanding its knowledge bases, reasoning capability, and testing the prototype with actual clinical cases in a real-time fashion.