Original Article

Evaluation of an Electronic Health Record Alert to Improve Screening and Management of Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Factors in a High-Risk Population

Authors: Warren L. Felton, MD, Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Tamala Gondwe, PhD, MPH, Christine Huynh, MD, Jordyn T. Wallenborn, PhD, MPH, Jeneane Henry, RN, BSN


Objectives: Cardiovascular disease and stroke risk factor screening and management by primary care providers (PCPs) have a significant impact on their patients’ health. The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an electronic health record (EHR) cardiovascular disease and stroke risk alert in improving the ability of PCPs to manage risk factors among women and men aged 45 years and older.

Methods: PCPs at a tertiary care hospital were randomized. The intervention group received an EHR alert, which calculated the individual patient risk and provided an order set incorporating the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association guidelines, whereas the control group used the EHR in the usual manner. Multilevel analysis compared the rate of prescriptions between the intervention and control groups.

Results: A total of 23 PCPs were randomized: 12 in the intervention group and 11 in the control group, attending to 7190 patients between September 2016 and January 2017. None of the providers in the intervention group used the programmed order set. Intervention group providers were significantly more likely to prescribe smoking cessation medication to women than to the control group (adjusted odds ratio 2.37, 95% confidence interval 1.23–4.57). There were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and control groups in the rate of other medication prescriptions.

Conclusions: As measured by prescriptions for medications, other than those for smoking cessation, the EHR alert was not shown to be successful in increasing the management of high-risk patients. Physicians receiving numerous messages in the EHR may experience alert desensitization.
Posted in: Cardiovascular Disease28

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