Clinical inertia: a common barrier to changing provider prescribing behavior.
ABSTRACT A cross-sectional content analysis nested within a randomized, controlled trial was conducted to collect information on provider responses to computer alerts regarding guideline recommendations for patients with suboptimal hypertension care.
Participants were providers who cared for 1,017 patients with uncontrolled hypertension on a single antihypertensive agent within Veterans Affairs primary care clinics. All reasons for action or inaction were sorted into a framework to explain the variation in guideline adaptation.
The 184 negative provider responses to computer alerts contained explanations for not changing patient treatment; 76 responses to the alerts were positive, that is, the provider was going to make a change in antihypertensive regimen. The negative responses were categorized as: inertia of practice (66%), lack of agreement with specific guidelines (5%), patient-based factors (17%), environmental factors (10%), and lack of knowledge (2%). Most of the 135 providers classified as inertia of practice indicated, "Continue current medications and I will discuss at the next visit." The median number of days until the next visit was 45 days (interquartile range, 29 to 78 days).
Clinical inertia was the primary reason for failing to engage in otherwise indicated treatment change in a subgroup of patients. A framework was provided as a taxonomy for classification of provider barriers.
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ABSTRACT: Background Drug therapy in primary care is a challenge for general practitioners (GPs) and the prescribing decision is influenced by several factors. GPs obtain drug information in different ways, from evidence-based sources, their own or others¿ experiences, or interactions with opinion makers, patients or colleagues. The need for objective drug information sources instead of drug industry-provided information has led to the establishment of local drug and therapeutic committees. They annually produce and implement local treatment guidelines in order to promote rational drug use. This study describes Swedish GPs¿ attitudes towards locally developed evidence-based treatment guidelines.Methods Three focus group interviews were performed with a total of 17 GPs working at both public and private primary health care centres in Skåne in southern Sweden. Transcripts were analysed by conventional content analysis. Codes, categories and themes were derived from data during the analysis.ResultsWe found two main themes: GP-related influencing factors and External influencing factors. The first theme emerged when we put together four main categories: Expectations and perceptions about existing local guidelines, Knowledge about evidence-based prescribing, Trust in development of guidelines, and Beliefs about adherence to guidelines. The second theme included the categories Patient-related aspects, Drug industry-related aspects, and Health economic aspects. The time-saving aspect, trust in evidence-based market-neutral guidelines and patient safety were described as key motivating factors for adherence. Patient safety was reported to be more important than adherence to guidelines or maintaining a good patient-doctor relationship. Cost containment was perceived both as a motivating factor and a barrier for adherence to guidelines. GPs expressed concerns about difficulties with adherence to guidelines when managing patients with drugs from other prescribers. GPs experienced a lack of time to self-inform and difficulties managing direct-to-consumer drug industry information.Conclusions Patient safety, trust in development of evidence-based recommendations, the patient-doctor encounter and cost containment were found to be key factors in GPs¿ prescribing. Future studies should explore the need for transparency in forming and implementing guidelines, which might potentially increase adherence to evidence-based treatment guidelines in primary care.BMC Family Practice 12/2014; 15(1):199. DOI:10.1186/s12875-014-0199-0 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Therapeutic inertia has been defined as the failure of health-care provider to initiate or intensify therapy when therapeutic goals are not reached. It is regarded as a major cause of uncontrolled hypertension. The exploration of its causes and the interventions to reduce it are plagued by unclear conceptualizations and hypothesized mechanisms. We therefore systematically searched the literature for definitions and discussions on the concept of therapeutic inertia in hypertension in primary care, to try and form an operational definition. Methods A systematic review of all types of publications related to clinical inertia in hypertension was performed. Medline, EMbase, PsycInfo, the Cochrane library and databases, BDSP, CRD and NGC were searched from the start of their databases to June 2013. Articles were selected independently by two authors on the basis of their conceptual content, without other eligibility criteria or formal quality appraisal. Qualitative data were extracted independently by two teams of authors. Data were analyzed using a constant comparative qualitative method. Results The final selection included 89 articles. 112 codes were grouped in 4 categories: terms and definitions (semantics), “who” (physician, patient or system), “how and why” (mechanisms and reasons), and “appropriateness”. Regarding each of these categories, a number of contradictory assertions were found, most of them relying on little or no empirical data. Overall, the limits of what should be considered as inertia were not clear. A number of authors insisted that what was considered deleterious inertia might in fact be appropriate care, depending on the situation. Conclusions Our data analysis revealed a major lack of conceptualization of therapeutic inertia in hypertension and important discrepancies regarding its possible causes, mechanisms and outcomes. The concept should be split in two parts: appropriate inaction and inappropriate inertia. The development of consensual and operational definitions relying on empirical data and the exploration of the intimate mechanisms that underlie these behaviors are now needed.BMC Family Practice 07/2014; 15(1):130. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-15-130 · 1.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: What is known and objectiveClinical decision support software (CDSS) has been increasingly implemented to assist improved prescribing practice. Reviews and studies report generally positive results regarding prescribing changes and, to a lesser extent, patient outcomes. Little information is available, however, concerning the use of CDSS in community pharmacy practice. Given the apparent paucity of publications examining this topic, we conducted a review to determine whether CDSS in community pharmacy practice can improve medication use and patient outcomes.MethodsA literature search of articles on CDSS relevant to community pharmacy and published between 1 January 2005 and 21 October 2013 was undertaken. Articles were included if the healthcare setting was community pharmacy and the article indicated that pharmacy use of CDSS was part of the study intervention.Results and discussionEight studies were found which assessed counselling, selected drug interactions, inappropriate prescribing and under-prescribing. One study was halted due to insufficient data collection. Six studies showed statistically significant improvements in the measured outcomes: increased patient counselling, 31% reduced frequency of drug–drug interactions (DDIs), reduced frequency of inappropriate medications in the elderly (2·2–1·8% patients) and in pregnant women (5·5–2·9% patients), and increased pharmacists' interventions for under-prescribed low-dose aspirin (1·74 vs. 0·91 per 100 patients with type 2 diabetes) and over-prescribed high-dose proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) (1·67 vs. 0·17 interventions per 100 high-dose PPI prescriptions).What is new and conclusionMost studies showed improved prescribing practice, via direct communication between pharmacists and doctors or indirectly via patient education. Factors limiting the impact of improved prescribing included alert fatigue and clinical inertia. No study investigated patient outcomes and little investigation had been undertaken on how CDSS could be best implemented. Few studies have been undertaken in community pharmacy practice, and based on the positive findings reported, further research should be directed in this area, including investigation of patient outcomes.Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 05/2014; 39(4). DOI:10.1111/jcpt.12168 · 1.53 Impact Factor