Efficacy of an Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support in Primary Care Practices – A Randomized Clinical Trial

Assesses the influence of customized evidence-based clinical decision support tool on the management of respiratory tract infections and on the effectiveness of integrating evidence at the point of care.

  • Authors
  • Anastasia Sofianou
  • Devin M. Mann
  • Joseph Kannry
  • Juan P. Wisnivesky
  • Lauren McCullagh
  • Megan Knaus
  • Thomas McGinn
  • Published
  • JAMA Internal Medicine

Abstract

Importance

There is consensus that incorporating clinical decision support into electronic health records will improve quality of care, contain costs, and reduce overtreatment, but this potential has yet to be demonstrated in clinical trials.

Objective

To assess the influence of a customized evidence-based clinical decision support tool on the management of respiratory tract infections and on the effectiveness of integrating evidence at the point of care.

Design, setting, and participants

In a randomized clinical trial, we implemented 2 well-validated integrated clinical prediction rules, namely, the Walsh rule for streptococcal pharyngitis and the Heckerling rule for pneumonia. INTERVENTIONS AND MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The intervention group had access to the integrated clinical prediction rule tool and chose whether to complete risk score calculators, order medications, and generate progress notes to assist with complex decision making at the point of care.

Results

The intervention group completed the integrated clinical prediction rule tool in 57.5% of visits. Providers in the intervention group were significantly less likely to order antibiotics than the control group (age-adjusted relative risk, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.60-0.92). The absolute risk of the intervention was 9.2%, and the number needed to treat was 10.8. The intervention group was significantly less likely to order rapid streptococcal tests compared with the control group (relative risk, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.58-0.97; P= .03).

Conclusions and relevance

The integrated clinical prediction rule process for integrating complex evidence-based clinical decision report tools is of relevant importance for national initiatives, such as Meaningful Use.