The effects of on-screen, point of care computer reminders on processes and outcomes of care. (Review)
ABSTRACT The opportunity to improve care by delivering decision support to clinicians at the point of care represents one of the main incentives for implementing sophisticated clinical information systems. Previous reviews of computer reminder and decision support systems have reported mixed effects, possibly because they did not distinguish point of care computer reminders from e-mail alerts, computer-generated paper reminders, and other modes of delivering 'computer reminders'.
To evaluate the effects on processes and outcomes of care attributable to on-screen computer reminders delivered to clinicians at the point of care.
We searched the Cochrane EPOC Group Trials register, MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL and CENTRAL to July 2008, and scanned bibliographies from key articles.
Studies of a reminder delivered via a computer system routinely used by clinicians, with a randomised or quasi-randomised design and reporting at least one outcome involving a clinical endpoint or adherence to a recommended process of care.
Two authors independently screened studies for eligibility and abstracted data. For each study, we calculated the median improvement in adherence to target processes of care and also identified the outcome with the largest such improvement. We then calculated the median absolute improvement in process adherence across all studies using both the median outcome from each study and the best outcome.
Twenty-eight studies (reporting a total of thirty-two comparisons) were included. Computer reminders achieved a median improvement in process adherence of 4.2% (interquartile range (IQR): 0.8% to 18.8%) across all reported process outcomes, 3.3% (IQR: 0.5% to 10.6%) for medication ordering, 3.8% (IQR: 0.5% to 6.6%) for vaccinations, and 3.8% (IQR: 0.4% to 16.3%) for test ordering. In a sensitivity analysis using the best outcome from each study, the median improvement was 5.6% (IQR: 2.0% to 19.2%) across all process measures and 6.2% (IQR: 3.0% to 28.0%) across measures of medication ordering. In the eight comparisons that reported dichotomous clinical endpoints, intervention patients experienced a median absolute improvement of 2.5% (IQR: 1.3% to 4.2%). Blood pressure was the most commonly reported clinical endpoint, with intervention patients experiencing a median reduction in their systolic blood pressure of 1.0 mmHg (IQR: 2.3 mmHg reduction to 2.0 mmHg increase).
Point of care computer reminders generally achieve small to modest improvements in provider behaviour. A minority of interventions showed larger effects, but no specific reminder or contextual features were significantly associated with effect magnitude. Further research must identify design features and contextual factors consistently associated with larger improvements in provider behaviour if computer reminders are to succeed on more than a trial and error basis.
- SourceAvailable from: Mariann Fossum
- "Systematic reviews offer some knowledge and experience from applications of CDSSs in medicine    and nursing   and have shown promising results. For example, prescribing best practices, providing recommendations for vaccinations and test ordering are three behavioral areas that have shown small to moderate improvements . Most of the evaluation studies of CDSSs are conducted in acute care settings   . "
- PLoS Medicine 8:-. · 14.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although it is recommended to restrict long-term use of benzodiazepines, and considerable attention has been paid to this, long-term use continues to be a problem. An informative discontinuation letter for patients has been shown to reduce long-term benzodiazepine use in general practice. However, little is known about its wide scale implementation in primary care. To determine the effectiveness of an intensive support programme for community pharmacies to send discontinuation letters to patients in cooperation with GPs. In a cluster randomized trial, 43 control pharmacies received a written manual and 47 experimental pharmacies received an intensive support programme. Primary outcome measures were the percentage of GPs who reviewed and returned lists of eligible patients and the percentage of long-term users who were sent a discontinuation letter within 4 months. The outcomes did not differ for the experimental versus control groups: 38% and 31% of the GPs, respectively, returned the patient lists; 14% and 10% of all long-term users in the two groups, respectively, received the discontinuation letter within 4 months. Substantially more pharmacies in the experimental group than in the control group finally managed to send discontinuation letters (70% vs. 40%). About one third of the pharmacies in the control group and two thirds of the pharmacies in the intervention group finally implemented the discontinuation letter. However, this difference was not apparent in the primary outcome measures. It seems crucial to involve GPs more effectively in implementation of the discontinuation letter.Drug and alcohol dependence 10/2008; 99(1-3):105-14. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.07.009 · 3.28 Impact Factor