Clinical inertia, the failure to adjust antihypertensive medications during patient visits with uncontrolled hypertension, is thought to be a common problem. This retrospective study used 5 years of electronic medical records from a multispecialty group practice to examine the association between physician and patient characteristics and clinical inertia. Hierarchical linear models (HLMs) were used to examine (1) differences in physician and patient characteristics among patients with and without clinical inertia, and (2) the association between clinical inertia and future uncontrolled hypertension. Overall, 66% of patients experienced clinical inertia. Clinical inertia was associated with one physician characteristic, patient volume (odds ratio [OR]=0.998). However, clinical inertia was associated with multiple patient characteristics, including patient age (OR=1.021), commercial insurance (OR=0.804), and obesity (OR=1.805). Finally, patients with clinical inertia had 2.9 times the odds of uncontrolled hypertension at their final visit in the study period. These findings may aid the design of interventions to reduce clinical inertia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine