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The American Journal of Managed Care August 2018
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Choosing Wisely Clinical Decision Support Adherence and Associated Inpatient Outcomes
Andrew M. Heekin, PhD; John Kontor, MD; Harry C. Sax, MD; Michelle S. Keller, MPH; Anne Wellington, BA; and Scott Weingarten, MD
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Choosing Wisely Clinical Decision Support Adherence and Associated Inpatient Outcomes

Andrew M. Heekin, PhD; John Kontor, MD; Harry C. Sax, MD; Michelle S. Keller, MPH; Anne Wellington, BA; and Scott Weingarten, MD
This analysis examines the associations between adherence to Choosing Wisely recommendations embedded into clinical decision support alerts and 4 measures of resource use and quality.
ABSTRACT

Objectives: To determine whether utilization of clinical decision support (CDS) is correlated with improved patient clinical and financial outcomes.

Study Design: Observational study of 26,424 patient encounters. In the treatment group, the provider adhered to all CDS recommendations. In the control group, the provider did not adhere to CDS recommendations.

Methods: An observational study of provider adherence to a CDS system was conducted using inpatient encounters spanning 3 years. Data comprised alert status (adherence), provider type (resident, attending), patient demographics, clinical outcomes, Medicare status, and diagnosis information. We assessed the associations between alert adherence and 4 outcome measures: encounter length of stay, odds of 30-day readmission, odds of complications of care, and total direct costs. The associations between alert adherence and the outcome measures were estimated using 4 generalized linear models that adjusted for potential confounders, such as illness severity and case complexity.

Results: The total encounter cost increased 7.3% (95% CI, 3.5%-11%) for nonadherent encounters versus adherent encounters. We found a 6.2% (95% CI, 3.0%-9.4%) increase in length of stay for nonadherent versus adherent encounters. The odds ratio for readmission within 30 days increased by 1.14 (95% CI, 0.998-1.31) for nonadherent versus adherent encounters. The odds ratio for complications increased by 1.29 (95% CI, 1.04-1.61) for nonadherent versus adherent encounters.

Conclusions: Consistent improvements in measured outcomes were seen in the treatment group versus the control group. We recommend that provider organizations consider the introduction of real-time CDS to support adherence to evidence-based guidelines, but because we cannot determine the cause of the associations between CDS interventions and improved clinical and financial outcomes, further study is required.

Am J Manag Care. 2018;24(8):361-366

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