A Survey of Factors Affecting Clinician Acceptance of Clinical Decision Support

Department of Medical Informatics, Northwest Permanente PC, Portland, OR, USA.
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making (Impact Factor: 1.83). 02/2006; 6(1):6. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6947-6-6
Source: PubMed


Real-time clinical decision support (CDS) integrated into clinicians' workflow has the potential to profoundly affect the cost, quality, and safety of health care delivery. Recent reports have identified a surprisingly low acceptance rate for different types of CDS. We hypothesized that factors affecting CDS system acceptance could be categorized as relating to differences in patients, physicians, CDS-type, or environmental characteristics.
We conducted a survey of all adult primary care physicians (PCPs, n = 225) within our group model Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) to identify factors that affect their acceptance of CDS. We defined clinical decision support broadly as "clinical information" that is either provided to you or accessible by you, from the clinical workstation (e.g., enhanced flow sheet displays, health maintenance reminders, alternative medication suggestions, order sets, alerts, and access to any internet-based information resources).
110 surveys were returned (49%). There were no differences in the age, gender, or years of service between those who returned the survey and the entire adult PCP population. Overall, clinicians stated that the CDS provided "helps them take better care of their patients" (3.6 on scale of 1:Never-5:Always), "is worth the time it takes" (3.5), and "reminds them of something they've forgotten" (3.2). There was no difference in the perceived acceptance rate of alerts based on their type (i.e., cost, safety, health maintenance). When asked about specific patient characteristics that would make the clinicians "more", "equally" or "less" likely to accept alerts: 41% stated that they were more (8% stated "less") likely to accept alerts on elderly patients (> 65 yrs); 38% were more (14% stated less) likely to accept alerts on patients with more than 5 current medications; and 38% were more (20% stated less) likely to accept alerts on patients with more than 5 chronic clinical conditions. Interestingly, 80% said they were less likely to accept alerts when they were behind schedule and 84% of clinicians admitted to being at least 20 minutes behind schedule "some", "most", or "all of the time".
Even though a majority of our clinical decision support suggestions are not explicitly followed, clinicians feel they are of benefit and would be even more beneficial if they had more time available to address them.

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Available from: Dean Forrest Sittig
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    • "In practice, plenty of factors influence the use of guidance [15]. Characteristics of the patient and the environment may be the most important factors for the acceptance of eCDS guidance [16]. Many barriers have been identified [17,18], particularly, too frequent or false alarms, lack of co-ordination between nurses and physicians, poor interface usability, time pressures, and inadequate training [19-22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Health information technology, particularly electronic decision support systems, can reduce the existing gap between evidence-based knowledge and health care practice but professionals have to accept and use this information. Evidence is scant on which features influence the use of computer-based clinical decision support (eCDS) in primary care and how different professional groups experience it. Our aim was to describe specific reasons for using or not using eCDS among primary care professionals. Methods The setting was a Finnish primary health care organization with 48 professionals receiving patient-specific guidance at the point of care. Multiple data (focus groups, questionnaire and spontaneous feedback) were analyzed using deductive content analysis and descriptive statistics. Results The content of the guidance is a significant feature of the primary care professional’s intention to use eCDS. The decisive reason for using or not using the eCDS is its perceived usefulness. Functional characteristics such as speed and ease of use are important but alone these are not enough. Specific information technology, professional, patient and environment features can help or hinder the use. Conclusions Primary care professionals have to perceive eCDS guidance useful for their work before they use it.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · BMC Health Services Research
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    • "The physicians perceived the factor ‘complexity of the case’ as more beneficial than the researchers (researcher-rank 12). This factor has good, positive support in the literature as well - for example, Sittig et al. stated that clinicians “were more willing to accept clinical decision support when the patient … had multiple medications or chronic conditions”[28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background One possible approach towards avoiding alert overload and alert fatigue in Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) systems is to tailor their drug safety alerts to the context of the clinical situation. Our objective was to identify the perceptions of physicians on the usefulness of clinical context information for prioritizing and presenting drug safety alerts. Methods We performed a questionnaire survey, inquiring CPOE-using physicians from four hospitals in four European countries to estimate the usefulness of 20 possible context factors. Results The 223 participants identified the ‘severity of the effect’ and the ‘clinical status of the patient’ as the most useful context factors. Further important factors are the ‘complexity of the case’ and the ‘risk factors of the patient’. Conclusions Our findings confirm the results of a prior, comparable survey inquiring CPOE researchers. Further research should focus on implementing these context factors in CPOE systems and on subsequently evaluating their impact.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
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    • "Studies revealed that the use of these systems improve clinical practice [6]. Other studies were carried out to identify the critical success factors [7] and challenges [8] in designing and developing "
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