Exposure to and experiences with a computerized decision support intervention in primary care: results from a process evaluation.
ABSTRACT: Trials evaluating the effects of interventions usually provide little insight into the factors responsible for (lack of) changes in desired outcomes. A process evaluation alongside a trial can shed light on the mechanisms responsible for the outcomes of a trial. The aim of this study was to investigate exposure to and experiences with a computerized decision support system (CDSS) intervention, in order to gain insight into the intervention's impact and to provide suggestions for improvement.A process evaluation was conducted as part of a large-scale cluster-randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of the CDSS NHGDoc on quality of care. Data on exposure to and experiences with the intervention were collected during the trial period among participants in both the intervention and control group - whenever applicable - by means of the NHGDoc server and an electronic questionnaire. Multiple data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.Ninety-nine percent (n = 229) of the included practices generated data for the NHGDoc server and 50 % (n = 116) responded to the questionnaire: both general practitioners (GPs; n = 112; 49 %) and practice nurses (PNs; n = 52; 37 %) participated. The actual exposure to the NHGDoc system and specific heart failure module was limited with 52 % of the GPs and 42 % of the PNs reporting to either never or rarely use the system. Overall, users had a positive attitude towards CDSSs. The most perceived barriers to using NHGDoc were a lack of learning capacity of the system, the additional time and work it requires to use the CDSS, irrelevant alerts, too high intensity of alerts and insufficient knowledge regarding the system.Several types of barriers may have negatively affected the impact of the intervention. Although users are generally positive about CDSSs, a large share of them is insufficiently aware of the functions of NHGDoc and, finds the decision support not always useful or relevant and difficult to integrate into daily practice. In designing CDSS interventions we suggest to more intensely involve the end-users and increase the system's flexibility and learning capacity. To improve implementation a proper introduction of a CDSS among its target group including adequate training is advocated.Clinical trials NCT01773057 .
Project description:Data to support improved patient outcomes from clinical decision-support systems (CDSSs) are lacking in HIV care.To test the efficacy of a CDSS in improving HIV outcomes in an outpatient clinic.Randomized, controlled trial. (ClinicalTrials.gov registration number: NCT00678600)Massachusetts General Hospital HIV Clinic.HIV care providers and their patients.Computer alerts were generated for virologic failure (HIV RNA level >400 copies/mL after a previous HIV RNA level ≤400 copies/mL), evidence of suboptimal follow-up, and 11 abnormal laboratory test results. Providers received interactive computer alerts, facilitating appointment rescheduling and repeated laboratory testing, for half of their patients and static alerts for the other half.The primary end point was change in CD4 cell count. Other end points included time to clinical event, 6-month suboptimal follow-up, and severe laboratory toxicity.Thirty-three HIV care providers followed 1011 patients with HIV. In the intervention group, the mean increase in CD4 cell count was greater (0.0053 vs. 0.0032 × 109 cells/L per month; difference, 0.0021 × 109 cells/L per month [95% CI, 0.0001 to 0.004]; P = 0.040) and the rate of 6-month suboptimal follow-up was lower (20.6 vs. 30.1 events per 100 patient-years; P = 0.022) than those in the control group. Median time to next scheduled appointment was shorter in the intervention group than in the control group after a suboptimal follow-up alert (1.71 vs. 3.48 months; P < 0.001) and after a toxicity alert (2.79 vs. >6 months; P = 0.072). More than 90% of providers supported adopting the CDSS as part of standard care.This was a 1-year informatics study conducted at a single hospital subspecialty clinic.A CDSS using interactive provider alerts improved CD4 cell counts and clinic follow-up for patients with HIV. Wider implementation of such systems can provide important clinical benefits.National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Project description:Primary care physicians (PCPs) care for most non-dialysis-dependent patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Studies suggest that PCPs may deliver suboptimal CKD care. One means to improve PCP treatment of CKD is clinical decision support systems (CDSSs).Cluster-randomized controlled trial.30 PCPs in a university-based outpatient general internal medicine practice and their 248 patients with moderate to advanced CKD who had not been referred to a nephrologist.2 CKD educational sessions were held for PCPs in both arms. The 15 intervention-arm PCPs also received real-time automated electronic medical record alerts for patients with estimated glomerular filtration rates <45 mL/min/1.73 m(2) recommending renal referral and urine albumin quantification if not done within the prior year.Primary outcome was referral to a nephrologist; secondary outcomes were albuminuria/proteinuria assessment, CKD documentation, optimal blood pressure (ie, <130/80 mm Hg), and use of renoprotective medications.The intervention and control arms did not differ in renal referrals (9.7% vs 16.5%, respectively; between-group difference, -6.8%; 95% CI, -15.5% to 1.8%; P = 0.1) or proteinuria assessments (39.3% vs 30.1%, respectively; between-group difference, 9.2%; 95% CI, -2.7% to 21.1%; P = 0.1). For intervention and control patients without a baseline proteinuria assessment, 27.7% versus 16.3%, respectively, had one at follow-up (P = 0.06). After controlling for clustering, these findings were largely unchanged and no significant differences were apparent between groups.Small single-center university-based practice, use of a passive CDSS that required PCPs to trigger the electronic order set.PCPs were willing to partake in a randomized trial of a CDSS to improve outpatient CKD care. Although CDSSs may have potential, larger studies are needed to further explore how best to deploy them to enhance CKD care.
Project description:There is wide variability in the use and adoption of recommendations generated by computerized clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) despite the benefits they may bring to clinical practice. We conducted a systematic review to explore the barriers to, and facilitators of, CDSS uptake by physicians to guide prescribing decisions. We identified 58 studies by searching electronic databases (1990-2007). Factors impacting on CDSS use included: the availability of hardware, technical support and training; integration of the system into workflows; and the relevance and timeliness of the clinical messages. Further, systems that were endorsed by colleagues, minimized perceived threats to professional autonomy, and did not compromise doctor-patient interactions were accepted by users. Despite advances in technology and CDSS sophistication, most factors were consistently reported over time and across ambulatory and institutional settings. Such factors must be addressed when deploying CDSSs so that improvements in uptake, practice and patient outcomes may be achieved.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) are a good strategy for preventing medication errors and reducing the incidence and severity of adverse drug events (ADEs). However, these systems are not very effective and are subject to multiple limitations that prevent their implementation in clinical practice. OBJECTIVES:The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an advanced CDSS, HIGEA, which generates alerts based on predefined clinical rules to identify patients at risk of an ADE. METHODS:A multidisciplinary team defined the system and the clinical rules focusing on medication errors commonly encountered in clinical practice. Four intervention programs were defined: (1) dose adjustment in renal impairment; (2) adjustment of anticoagulation/antiplatelet therapy; (3) detection of biochemical/hematologic toxicities; and (4) therapeutic drug monitoring. We performed a 6-month observational prospective study to analyze the effectiveness of these clinical rules by calculating the positive predictive value (PPV). RESULTS:The team defined 211 clinical rules. During the study period, HIGEA generated 1,086 alerts (8.9 alerts per working day), which were reviewed by pharmacists. Fifty-one percent (554/1,086) of alerts generated an intervention to prevent a possible ADE; of these, 66% (368/554) required a documented modification to therapy owing to a real prescription error intercepted. The intervention program that induced the highest number of modifications to therapy was the dose adjustment in renal impairment program (PPV?=?0.51), followed by the adjustment of anticoagulation/antiplatelet therapy program (PPV?=?0.24). The percentage of accepted interventions was similar in surgical units (68%), medical units (67%), and critical care units (63%). CONCLUSION:Our study offers evidence that HIGEA is highly effective in preventing potential ADEs at the prescription stage.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Suicide is a global public health concern, but it is preventable. Increased contact with primary care before the suicide or attempted suicide raises opportunities for intervention and prevention. However, suicide assessment and management are areas that many general practitioners (GPs) find particularly challenging. Previous research has indicated significant variability in how GPs understand, operationalize, and assess suicide risk, which subsequently has an impact on clinical decision making. Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) have been widely implemented across different health care settings, including primary care to support practitioners in clinical decision making. A CDSS may reduce inconsistencies in the identification, assessment, and management of suicide risk by GPs by guiding them through the consultation and generating a risk assessment plan that can be shared with a service user or with specialized mental health services. OBJECTIVE:Our aim is to co-develop and test with end users (eg, GPs, primary care attendees, mental health professionals) an electronic clinical decision support system (e-CDSS) to support GPs in the identification, assessment, and management of suicidality in primary care. METHODS:Ours is an ongoing embedded mixed-methods study with four phases: (1) qualitative interviews with GPs to explore their views on the content, format, and use of the e-CDSS, as well as consultation with two service-user advisory groups (people aged ≤25 and people aged ≥25) to inform the content of the e-CDSS including phrasing of items and clarity; (2) participatory co-production workshops with GPs, service users, and clinical experts in suicidality to determine the content and format of the e-CDDS; gain consensus of the relevance of items; establish content validity and identify pathways to implementation, using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research; (3) building the e-CDSS so that it guides the GP through a consultation; and (4) usability testing of the e-CDSS with GPs and service users in one primary care practice involving a nonlive and a live stage. RESULTS:The study was funded for four years, to take place between 2015 and 2019, and is currently completing phase 4 data collection. The first results are expected to be submitted for publication in June 2019. The findings will enable us to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and usability of a suicide-specific, electronic, guided decision support system in primary care. CONCLUSIONS:This study will be the first to explore the feasibility, acceptability, and usability of an electronic, guided decision support system for use in primary care consultations for the improved assessment and management of suicidality. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID):RR1-10.2196/11135.
Project description:Computerized decision support systems (CDSSs) are increasingly used to improve quality of care. There is evidence for moderate to large effects from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), but evidence on their effectiveness when implemented at a national level is lacking. In the Netherlands, the Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG) initiated their successful guideline program already 30 years ago. NHGDoc, a CDSS based on these NHG guidelines, covering multiple disease areas for general practice, was developed in 2006 with the aim to improve quality of primary care. In this paper, a protocol is presented to evaluate the uptake and effects of NHGDoc.A cluster RCT will be conducted among 120 general practices in the Netherlands. Eligible general practices will be randomized to receive either the regular NHGDoc decision support modules (control arm) or the regular modules plus an additional module on heart failure (intervention arm). The heart failure module consists of patient-specific alerts concerning the treatment of patients with heart failure. The effect evaluation will focus on performance indicators (e.g., prescription behavior) as well as on patient outcomes (e.g., hospital admissions) relevant in the domain of heart failure. Additionally, a process evaluation will be conducted to gain insight into the barriers and facilitators that affect the uptake and impact of NHGDoc.Results of this study will provide insight in the uptake and impact of a multiple-domain covering CDSS for primary care implemented by a national guideline organization to improve the quality of primary care. Whereas the trial focuses on a specific domain of care-heart failure-conclusions of this study will shed light on the functioning of CDSSs covering multiple disease areas for primary care, particularly as this study also explores the factors contributing to the system's uptake and effectiveness.Clinical trials NCT01773057.
Project description:Advanced Computerized Decision Support Systems (CDSSs) assist clinicians in their decision-making process, generating recommendations based on up-to-date scientific evidence. Although this technology has the potential to improve the quality of patient care, its mere provision does not guarantee uptake: even where CDSSs are available, clinicians often fail to adopt their recommendations. This study examines the barriers and facilitators to the uptake of an evidence-based CDSS as perceived by diverse health professionals in hospitals at different stages of CDSS adoption.Qualitative study conducted as part of a series of randomized controlled trials of CDSSs. The sample includes two hospitals using a CDSS and two hospitals that aim to adopt a CDSS in the future. We interviewed physicians, nurses, information technology staff, and members of the boards of directors (n = 30). We used a constant comparative approach to develop a framework for guiding implementation.We identified six clusters of experiences of, and attitudes towards CDSSs, which we label as "positions." The six positions represent a gradient of acquisition of control over CDSSs (from low to high) and are characterized by different types of barriers to CDSS uptake. The most severe barriers (prevalent in the first positions) include clinicians' perception that the CDSSs may reduce their professional autonomy or may be used against them in the event of medical-legal controversies. Moving towards the last positions, these barriers are substituted by technical and usability problems related to the technology interface. When all barriers are overcome, CDSSs are perceived as a working tool at the service of its users, integrating clinicians' reasoning and fostering organizational learning.Barriers and facilitators to the use of CDSSs are dynamic and may exist prior to their introduction in clinical contexts; providing a static list of obstacles and facilitators, irrespective of the specific implementation phase and context, may not be sufficient or useful to facilitate uptake. Factors such as clinicians' attitudes towards scientific evidences and guidelines, the quality of inter-disciplinary relationships, and an organizational ethos of transparency and accountability need to be considered when exploring the readiness of a hospital to adopt CDSSs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Computerised clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) are used widely to improve quality of care and patient outcomes. This systematic review evaluated the impact of CDSSs in targeting specific aspects of prescribing, namely initiating, monitoring and stopping therapy. We also examined the influence of clinical setting (institutional vs ambulatory care), system- or user-initiation of CDSS, multi-faceted vs stand alone CDSS interventions and clinical target on practice changes in line with the intent of the CDSS. METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase and PsychINFO for publications from 1990-2007 detailing CDSS prescribing interventions. Pairs of independent reviewers extracted the key features and prescribing outcomes of methodologically adequate studies (experiments and strong quasi-experiments). RESULTS: 56 studies met our inclusion criteria, 38 addressing initiating, 23 monitoring and three stopping therapy. At the time of initiating therapy, CDSSs appear to be somewhat more effective after, rather than before, drug selection has occurred (7/12 versus 12/26 studies reporting statistically significant improvements in favour of CDSSs on = 50% of prescribing outcomes reported). CDSSs also appeared to be effective for monitoring therapy, particularly using laboratory test reminders (4/7 studies reporting significant improvements in favour of CDSSs on the majority of prescribing outcomes). None of the studies addressing stopping therapy demonstrated impacts in favour of CDSSs over comparators. The most consistently effective approaches used system-initiated advice to fine-tune existing therapy by making recommendations to improve patient safety, adjust the dose, duration or form of prescribed drugs or increase the laboratory testing rates for patients on long-term therapy. CDSSs appeared to perform better in institutional compared to ambulatory settings and when decision support was initiated automatically by the system as opposed to user initiation. CDSSs implemented with other strategies such as education were no more successful in improving prescribing than stand alone interventions. Cardiovascular disease was the most studied clinical target but few studies demonstrated significant improvements on the majority of prescribing outcomes. CONCLUSION: Our understanding of CDSS impacts on specific aspects of the prescribing process remains relatively limited. Future implementation should build on effective approaches including the use of system-initiated advice to address safety issues and improve the monitoring of therapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) may promote practitioner adherence to evidence-based guidelines. This study examined if the addition of a CDSS influenced practitioner delivery of a brief intervention with treatment-seeking smokers who were drinking above recommended alcohol consumption guidelines, compared with practitioners who do not receive a CDSS prompt. METHODS:This was a cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in primary health care clinics across Ontario, Canada, implementing the Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients (STOP) smoking cessation program. Clinics randomized to the intervention group received a prompt when a patient reported consuming alcohol above the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) guidelines; the control group did not receive computer alerts. The primary outcome was an offer of an appropriate educational alcohol resource, an alcohol reduction workbook for patients drinking above the CCS guidelines, and an abstinence workbook to patients scoring above 20 points in the AUDIT screening tool; the secondary outcome was patient acceptance of the resource. The tertiary outcome was patient abstinence from smoking, and alcohol consumption within CCS guidelines, at 6-month follow-up. Results were analyzed using a generalized estimation approach for fitting logistic regression using a population-averaged method. RESULTS:Two hundred and twenty-one clinics across Ontario were randomized for this study; 110 to the intervention arm and 111 to the control arm. From the 15,222 patients that enrolled in the smoking cessation program, 15,150 (99.6% of patients) were screened for alcohol use and 5715 patients were identified as drinking above the CCS guidelines. No statistically significant difference between groups was seen in practitioner offer of an educational alcohol resource to appropriate patients (OR?=?1.19, 95% CI 0.88-1.64, p?=?0.261) or in patient abstinence from smoking and drinking within the CCS guidelines at 6-month follow-up (OR?=?0.93, 95% CI 0.71-1.22, p?=?0.594). However, a significantly greater proportion of patients in the intervention group accepted the alcohol resource offered to them by their practitioner (OR?=?1.48, 95% CI 1.01-2.16, p?=?0.045). CONCLUSION:A CDSS may not increase the likelihood of practitioners offering an educational alcohol resource, though it may have influenced patients' acceptance of the resource. TRIAL REGISTRATION:This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT03108144 , registered on April 11, 2017, "retrospectively registered".
Project description:Computerized decision support systems (CDSSs) are computer programs that provide doctors with person-specific, actionable recommendations, or management options that are intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times to enhance health care. CDSSs might be integrated with patient electronic health records (EHRs) and evidence-based knowledge.The Computerized DEcision Support in ONCOlogy (ONCO-CODES) trial is a pragmatic, parallel group, randomized controlled study with 1:1 allocation ratio. The trial is designed to evaluate the effectiveness on clinical practice and quality of care of a multi-specialty collection of patient-specific reminders generated by a CDSS in the IRCCS Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) hospital. We hypothesize that the intervention can increase clinician adherence to guidelines and, eventually, improve the quality of care offered to cancer patients. The primary outcome is the rate at which the issues reported by the reminders are resolved, aggregating specialty and primary care reminders. We will include all the patients admitted to hospital services. All analyses will follow the intention-to-treat principle.The results of our study will contribute to the current understanding of the effectiveness of CDSSs in cancer hospitals, thereby informing healthcare policy about the potential role of CDSS use. Furthermore, the study will inform whether CDSS may facilitate the integration of primary care in cancer settings, known to be usually limited. The increasing use of and familiarity with advanced technology among new generations of physicians may support integrated approaches to be tested in pragmatic studies determining the optimal interface between primary and oncology care.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02645357.