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An Electronic Dashboard to Improve Dosing of Hydroxychloroquine Within the Veterans Health Care System: Time Series Analysis.

Montgomery A, Tarasovsky G, Izadi Z, Shiboski S, Whooley MA, Dana J, Ehiorobo I, Barton J, Bennett L, Chung L, Reiter K, Wahl E, Subash M, Schmajuk G. An Electronic Dashboard to Improve Dosing of Hydroxychloroquine Within the Veterans Health Care System: Time Series Analysis. JMIR medical informatics. 2023 May 12; 11:e44455.

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BACKGROUND: Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is commonly used for patients with autoimmune conditions. Long-term use of HCQ can cause retinal toxicity, but this risk can be reduced if high doses are avoided. OBJECTIVE: We developed and piloted an electronic health record-based dashboard to improve the safe prescribing of HCQ within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). We observed pilot facilities over a 1-year period to determine whether they were able to improve the proportion of patients receiving inappropriate doses of HCQ. METHODS: Patients receiving HCQ were identified from the VHA corporate data warehouse. Using PowerBI (Microsoft Corp), we constructed a dashboard to display patient identifiers and the most recent HCQ dose and weight (flagged if = 5.2 mg/kg/day). Six VHA pilot facilities were enlisted to test the dashboard and invited to participate in monthly webinars. We performed an interrupted time series analysis using synthetic controls to assess changes in the proportion of patients receiving HCQ = 5.2 mg/kg/day between October 2020 and November 2021. RESULTS: At the start of the study period, we identified 18,525 total users of HCQ nationwide at 128 facilities in the VHA, including 1365 patients at the 6 pilot facilities. Nationwide, at baseline, 19.8% (3671/18,525) of patients were receiving high doses of HCQ. We observed significant improvements in the proportion of HCQ prescribed at doses = 5.2 mg/kg/day among pilot facilities after the dashboard was deployed (-0.06; 95% CI -0.08 to -0.04). The difference in the postintervention linear trend for pilot versus synthetic controls was also significant (-0.06; 95% CI -0.08 to -0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The use of an electronic health record-based dashboard reduced the proportion of patients receiving higher than recommended doses of HCQ and significantly improved performance at 6 VHA facilities. National roll-out of the dashboard will enable further improvements in the safe prescribing of HCQ.

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