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Impact of Clinical Reminder Redesign on Physicians’ Priority Decisions

Wu S, Lehto MR, Yih Y, Saleem JJ, Doebbeling BN. Impact of Clinical Reminder Redesign on Physicians’ Priority Decisions. Applied clinical informatics. 2010 Nov 1; 2(4):466-485.

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Objective: Computerized clinical reminder (CCR) systems can improve preventive service delivery by providing patient-specific reminders at the point of care. However, adherence varies between individual CCRs and is correlated to resolution time amongst other factors. This study aimed to evaluate how a proposed CCR redesign providing information explaining why the CCRs occurred would impact providers' prioritization of individual CCRs. Design: Two CCR designs were prototyped to represent the original and the new design, respectively. The new CCR design incorporated a knowledge-based risk factor repository, a prioritization mechanism, and a role-based filter. Sixteen physicians participated in a controlled experiment to compare the use of the original and the new CCR systems. The subjects individually simulated a scenario-based patient encounter, followed by a semi-structured interview and survey. Measurements: We collected and analyzed the order in which the CCRs were prioritized, the perceived usefulness of each design feature, and semi-structured interview data. Results: We elicited the prioritization heuristics used by the physicians, and found a CCR system needed to be relevant, easy to resolve, and integrated with workflow. The redesign impacted 80% of physicians and 44% of prioritization decisions. Decisions were no longer correlated to resolution time given the new design. The proposed design features were rated useful or very useful. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the redesign of a CCR system using a knowledge-based risk factor repository, a prioritization mechanism, and a role-based filter can impact clinicians' decision making. These features are expected to ultimately improve the quality of care and patient safety.

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