Electronic health record feedback to improve antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infections.

Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02120, USA.
The American journal of managed care (Impact Factor: 2.26). 12/2010; 16(12 Suppl HIT):e311-9.
Source: PubMed


To examine whether the Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) Quality Dashboard, an electronic health record (EHR)-based feedback system, changed antibiotic prescribing.
Cluster randomized, controlled trial.
We randomly assigned 27 primary care practices to receive the ARI Quality Dashboard or usual care. The primary outcome was the intent-to-intervene antibiotic prescribing rate for ARI visits. We also compared antibiotic prescribing between ARI Quality Dashboard users and nonusers.
During the 9-month intervention, there was no difference between intervention and control practices in antibiotic prescribing for all ARI visits (47% vs 47%; P = .87), antibiotic-appropriate ARI visits (65% vs 64%; P = .68), or non–antibiotic-appropriate ARI visits (38% vs 40%; P = .70). Among the 258 intervention clinicians, 72 (28%) used the ARI Quality Dashboard at least once. These clinicians had a lower overall ARI antibiotic prescribing rate (42% vs 50% for nonusers; P = .02). This difference was due to less antibiotic prescribing for non-antibiotic-appropriate ARIs (32% vs 43%; P = .004), including nonstreptococcal pharyngitis (31% vs 41%; P = .01) and nonspecific upper respiratory infections (19% vs 34%; P = .01).
The ARI Quality Dashboard was not associated with an overall change in antibiotic prescribing for ARIs, although when used, it was associated with improved antibiotic prescribing. EHR-based quality reporting, as part of "meaningful use," may not improve care in the absence of other changes to primary care practice.

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