Effects of Computerized Guidelines for Managing Heart Disease in Primary Care: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

William M. Tierney, J. Marc Overhage, Michael Murray, Lisa E. Harris, Xiao Hua Zhou, George J. Eckert, Faye E. Smith, Nancy Nienaber, Clement J. McDonald, Fredric D. Wolinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Electronic information systems have been proposed as one means to reduce medical errors of commission (doing the wrong thing) and omission (not providing indicated care). OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of computer-based cardiac care suggestions. DESIGN: A randomized, controlled trial targeting primary care physicians and pharmacists. SUBJECTS: A total of 706 outpatients with heart failure and/or ischemic heart disease. INTERVENTIONS: Evidence-based cardiac care suggestions, approved by a panel of local cardiologists and general internists, were displayed to physicians and pharmacists as they cared for enrolled patients. MEASUREMENTS: Adherence with the care suggestions, generic and condition-specific quality of life, acute exacerbations of their cardiac disease, medication compliance, health care costs, satisfaction with care, and physicians' attitudes toward guidelines. RESULTS: Subjects were followed for 1 year during which they made 3,419 primary care visits and were eligible for 2,609 separate cardiac care suggestions. The intervention had no effect on physicians' adherence to the care suggestions (23% for intervention patients vs 22% for controls). There were no intervention-control differences in quality of life, medication compliance, health care utilization, costs, or satisfaction with care. Physicians viewed guidelines as providing helpful information but constraining their practice and not helpful in making decisions for individual patients. CONCLUSIONS: Care suggestions generated by a sophisticated electronic medical record system failed to improve adherence to accepted practice guidelines or outcomes for patients with heart disease. Future studies must weigh the benefits and costs of different (and perhaps more Draconian) methods of affecting clinician behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-976
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2003

Fingerprint

Heart Diseases
Primary Health Care
Randomized Controlled Trials
Guidelines
Physicians
Medication Adherence
Pharmacists
Health Care Costs
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Quality of Life
Medical Errors
Electronic Health Records
Primary Care Physicians
Practice Guidelines
Information Systems
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Myocardial Ischemia
Decision Making
Outpatients
Heart Failure

Keywords

  • Ambulatory information systems
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Decision support systems
  • Drug utilization review
  • Heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Effects of Computerized Guidelines for Managing Heart Disease in Primary Care : A Randomized, Controlled Trial. / Tierney, William M.; Overhage, J. Marc; Murray, Michael; Harris, Lisa E.; Zhou, Xiao Hua; Eckert, George J.; Smith, Faye E.; Nienaber, Nancy; McDonald, Clement J.; Wolinsky, Fredric D.

In: Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 18, No. 12, 12.2003, p. 967-976.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tierney, WM, Overhage, JM, Murray, M, Harris, LE, Zhou, XH, Eckert, GJ, Smith, FE, Nienaber, N, McDonald, CJ & Wolinsky, FD 2003, 'Effects of Computerized Guidelines for Managing Heart Disease in Primary Care: A Randomized, Controlled Trial', Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol. 18, no. 12, pp. 967-976. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1497.2003.30635.x
Tierney, William M. ; Overhage, J. Marc ; Murray, Michael ; Harris, Lisa E. ; Zhou, Xiao Hua ; Eckert, George J. ; Smith, Faye E. ; Nienaber, Nancy ; McDonald, Clement J. ; Wolinsky, Fredric D. / Effects of Computerized Guidelines for Managing Heart Disease in Primary Care : A Randomized, Controlled Trial. In: Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2003 ; Vol. 18, No. 12. pp. 967-976.
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