Thursday, July 8, 2010

The effects of on-screen, point of care computer reminders on processes and outcomes of care

A Cochrane review on on-screen computer reminders delivered to health professionals at the point of care, concludes that those ones produce only small to moderate improvements in both process and outcome of care.

Computer reminders are intended to help health care professionals to recall information that they may already know, but could forget easily when doing other activities of care. They also serve to support decisions, provide information or guidance in an accessible format at a particularly relevant. These reminders are able to address multiple topics, are automatic and come at the right time of care.

This Cochrane review found 28 studies that evaluated the effects of different on-screen reminders. The studies tested reminders to prescribe specific drugs, to warn about drug interactions, to provide vaccinations or to order tests.

The review found small to moderate benefits, that is, these reminders improved medical practice in a small percentage by measuring the results against the percentage of patients receiving care according to the reminder given to the professional (e.g. specific medication prescription, performance of a specific task such as sending to a medical specialist, etc.).

They also studied continuous process outcomes, for example, duration of treatment with antibiotics and various markers of disease or health status (e.g., mean blood pressure or cholesterol level). However, the results of improvement patients’ health also achieved small benefits.

Shojania KG, Jennings A, Mayhew A, Ramsay CR, Eccles MP, Grimshaw J. The effects of on-screen, point of care computer reminders on processes and outcomes of care.. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001096. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001096.pub2

See also in this blog: ¿Se cancelan las alertas sobre medicamentos en la prescripción electrónica?

Posted by Guadalupe Olivera
English version by Erika Céspedes

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