Objective: Hypoglycemia (HG) occurs in up to 60% of patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) each year. We assessed a HG alert tool in an electronic health record system, and determined its effect on clinical practice and outcomes. Methods: The tool applied a statistical model, yielding patient-specific information about HG risk. We randomized outpatient primary-care providers (PCPs) to see or not see the alerts. Patients were assigned to study group according to the first PCP seen during four months. We assessed prescriptions, testing, and HG. Variables were compared by multinomial, logistic, or linear model. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT04177147 (registered on 22 November 2019). Results: Patients (N = 3350) visited 123 intervention PCPs; 3395 patients visited 220 control PCPs. Intervention PCPs were shown 18,645 alerts (mean of 152 per PCP). Patients’ mean age was 55 years, with 61% female, 49% black, and 49% Medicaid recipients. Mean baseline A1c and body mass index were similar between groups. During follow-up, the number of A1c and glucose tests, and number of new, refilled, changed, or discontinued insulin prescriptions, were highest for patients with highest risk. Per 100 patients on average, the intervention group had fewer sulfonylurea refills (6 vs. 8; p <.05) and outpatient encounters (470 vs. 502; p <.05), though the change in encounters was not significant. Frequency of HG events was unchanged. Conclusions: Informing PCPs about risk of HG led to fewer sulfonylurea refills and visits. Longer-term studies are needed to assess potential for long-term benefits.
- decision support systems, clinical
- diabetes mellitus
- electronic health records
- sulfonylurea compounds
ASJC Scopus subject areas