Human Factors Barriers to the Effective Use of Ten HIV Clinical Reminders

Published in: Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, v. 11, no. 1, Jan./Feb. 2004, p. 50-59

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by Emily S. Patterson, Anh D. Nguyen, James P. Halloran, Steven M. Asch

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OBJECTIVE: Substantial variations in adherence to guidelines for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care have been documented. To evaluate their effectiveness in improving quality of care, ten computerized clinical reminders (CRs) were implemented at two pilot and eight study sites. The aim of this study was to identify human factors barriers to the use of these CRs. DESIGN: Observational study was conducted of CRs in use at eight outpatient clinics for one day each and semistructured interviews were conducted with physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and case managers. MEASUREMENTS: Detailed handwritten field notes of interpretations and actions using the CRs and responses to interview questions were used for measurement. RESULTS: Barriers present at more than one site were (1) workload during patient visits (8 of 8 sites), (2) time to document when a CR was not clinically relevant (8 of 8 sites), (3) inapplicability of the CR due to context-specific reasons (9 of 26 patients), (4) limited training on how to use the CR software for rotating staff (5 of 8 sites) and permanent staff (3 of 8 sites), (5) perceived reduction of quality of provider-patient interaction (3 of 23 permanent staff), and (6) the decision to use paper forms to enable review of resident physician orders prior to order entry (2 of 8 sites). CONCLUSION: Six human factors barriers to the use of HIV CRs were identified. Reducing these barriers has the potential to increase use of the CRs and thereby improve the quality of HIV care.

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