Title

The impact of computerized clinical reminders on physician prescribing behavior: Evidence from community oncology practice

RIS ID

18661

Publication Details

Kralj, B., Iverson, D., Hotz, K. & Ashbury, F. D. (2003). The impact of computerized clinical reminders on physician prescribing behavior: Evidence from community oncology practice. American Journal of Medical Quality, 18 (5), 197-203.

Abstract

The objective of this study is to examine the impact of a clinical reminder generated by an electronic medical record (EMR) system on physician prescribing behavior in community oncology practice setting. A case-control trial assessing the prescribing rates of erythropoietin by physicians is used. The participants and setting involves a total of 11,644 physician-patient encounters in 2 community oncology practices in the United States during a 21-month period. The intervention is a clinical reminder generated in real time during a physician-patient encounter by an EMR identifying cancer patients with low hemoglobin (Hgb) levels (ie, anemic), that is, patients with Hgb less then 12 g/dL. The main outcome measure is to determine the frequency of erythropoietin prescription by physicians to cancer patients with low Hgb levels. Implementation of a clinical reminder generated by way of an EMR significantly improved the likelihood of low-Hgb patients receiving treatment with erythropoietin. Low-Hgb patients in the experimental clinic during the time that the clinical reminder system was in place were almost twice as likely (ie, adjusted odds ratio = 1.92, P = .008) to have been treated with erythropoietin. The data support the effectiveness of clinical reminders as a way to influence physician prescribing behaviors and potentially improve the quality of patient care. However, we feel that there is a need to investigate the use of reminders in other aspects of cancer care that may be undertreated or when new drugs may be available but are underused.

 

Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/106286060301800504