Navigation Links
Smarter systems help busy doctors remember
Date:12/21/2010

CHICAGO --- Busy doctors can miss important details about a patient's care during an office examination. To prevent that, Northwestern Medicine researchers have created a whip-smart assistant for physicians a new system using electronic health records that alerts doctors during an exam when a patient's care is amiss.

After one year, the software program significantly improved primary care physicians' performance and the health care of patients with such chronic conditions as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The program, a new comprehensive approach tied to a doctor's performance review, also boosted preventive care in vaccinations and cancer and osteoporosis screenings.

The study, done with 40 Northwestern Medicine primary care physicians, will be published Dec. 21 online in the journal Medical Care and in the February print issue.

"It helps us find needles in the haystack and focus on patients who really have outstanding needs that may have slipped between the cracks," said lead author Stephen Persell, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

"Quality health care is not just about having good doctors and nurses taking care of you," said Persell, a researcher in the division of general internal medicine. "It's having systems in place that make it easier for them to do their jobs and insure that patients get what they need."

In the new system, an unobtrusive yellow light on the side of a doctor's computer alerts him or her to a message that something is awry with Mr. Jones' care. When the doctor clicks on the light, she may learn Mr. Jones, who has congestive heart failure, hasn't gotten his recommended pneumonia vaccine. Or, perhaps he was taken off his beta-blockers during a recent hospitalization and needs to start them again.

"The pieces of this system aren't new, but putting them together in a comprehensive way is new," Persell noted. "If you put these things together in a smart way, then electronic health records are powerful tools for quality of care."

Electronic health records alone have not been shown to improve quality of care.

"What matters is how you use the electronic health records, so they make your job easier rather than act as a source of constant annoyance and false alarms," Persell said. "By showing only things that appear to be out of order, we are trying not to overwhelm the physician. If doctors get inaccurate alerts saying do this, do that, then they will ignore them."

Essential to the success of the program: it doesn't waste the doctor's time, is tied to performance reviews and isn't annoying.

"You can't shove it in doctors' faces, or they walk away from it," Persell noted. "We used reminders that were not intrusive, but were still effective because doctors had faith that the data was accurate and they could enter data to make it more accurate."

David Baker, M.D., senior author and chief of Northwestern Medicine's general internal medicine divison, added, "We wanted physicians to feel ownership of this. For this to work well, they have to view the alerts and reporting system as their personal quality improvement tools."

Doctors' interactions with the reminders were tied to quarterly performance reports based on their treatment of chronic disease and preventive care quality measures. They were willing to use the electronic tools, Persell believes, because they were regularly being reminded of their performance, and the tools were helping them improve it.

To create the program, researchers used existing tools already available in a commercial electronic health records system. They integrated the health records with performance reports and paid close attention to the quality of information fed to physicians.

When a recommended treatment is not the medically right choice for a patient, the doctor is able to enter that information. Thus, he is not needlessly reminded that the patient isn't getting a certain drug and won't be penalized in performance reports for not prescribing it.

Among the improvements: heart disease patients getting cholesterol lowering medication rose from 87 to 93 percent, pneumonia vaccinations from 80 to 90 percent and colon cancer screenings from 57 to 62 percent.

"The gains are modest," Persell said, "but if you are already at 90 percent and go to 94 percent, that's important."


'/>"/>

Contact: Marla Paul
marla-paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. 70-year-olds smarter than they used to be
2. Dedicate Server and VPS Hosting Provider Company HostRightNow Technologies Partners with SmarterTools Inc.
3. Listening to Mozart Wont Make Your Child Smarter
4. Smarter use of existing treatment helps dramatically boost survival of young AML patients
5. RetiringbyDesign.com Offers Retirees a Smarter Way to Explore Living Options
6. Brain Games Do Not Make You Smarter
7. Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
8. Sporadic breast cancers start with ineffective DNA repair systems, Pitt researchers find
9. Genomic Systems announces moratorium on studying and treating terminal cancer has ended
10. Nutrition rating enhancing front-of-package nutrition rating systems and symbols: Phase 1
11. Front-of-package symbols and systems: IOM phase 1 report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for ... for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in ... reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... DevOps and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center ... Purchase Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, ... cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to ... breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... MD (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... The ... of Excellence to Carol Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual ... – 8. , In honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and education, today ... Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie & ... award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This year’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... -- AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) announced that its CE-Marked AVACEN ... with the widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia in the ... Essex, England commented, "I had difficulty ... sleep at all, tremendous pain, with every movement sending ... AVACEN 100] enough, how this has and is helping ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... --  ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in cloud-based revenue ... been ranked #1 by its users for the seventh consecutive ... Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end revenue cycle ... over 200 beds and holds one of the longest #1 ... ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, Inc. ... bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced a ... A (H7N9) vaccine. ... seasonal influenza and presents a challenge for ... exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: