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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 6078-6084

The impact of the implementation of a clinical decision support system on the quality of healthcare services in a primary care setting


Department of Family Medicine and Polyclinics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ahmed Sherif Mahmoud
Consultant, Family Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, MBC 62, PO Box - 3354, Riyadh - 11211
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1728_20

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Background: In July 2015, King Faisal Hospital Family Medicine clinics (KFH-FMC) successfully implemented a paperless, fully integrated, electronic healthcare system. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of moving to a fully integrated electronic medical record system, with clinical decision support (CDS) systems, on the quality of healthcare services in a primary care setting. We aim to evaluate the impact of CDS on clinical outcomes such as screening and diagnosis of breast and colorectal cancers, as well as the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and the uptake of immunizations. Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria: Our study included all adult patients, over the age of 18, registered in the Family Medicine clinic linked to King Faisal Hospital, seen between January 2012 and December 2018. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Family Medicine clinics at King Faisal Hospital (KFH-FMC). Materials and Methods: Data were collected retrospectively from the electronic health records of all adult patients above 18 years of age, who were seen in KFH-FMC between January 2012 and December 2018. We analyzed several processes of care and a number of clinical outcomes, comparing results for the three and a half years before CDS implementation with the three and a half years after implementation. Data collected included blood pressure measurements, lipid levels, HbA1c for diabetic patients, screening tests done, including PAP smear, mammogram, fecal occult blood tests, and bone densitometry. Other data included cancer diagnoses and immunizations received. Results: Significant increases were found in adult vaccine uptake ranging from an 11-fold increase in influenza uptake, to a 22-fold increase in pneumococcal 23 uptake. The uptake of all the cancer screening tests increased (FOB 66%, mammogram 33%, PAP smear 16%). Diagnoses of breast and colorectal cancer showed significant increases. Breast cancer diagnoses increased from 2 to 14, and colorectal cancer from 3 to 11. No significant improvement was found in chronic disease outcomes. Discussion: The electronic health record with CDS led to significantly improved uptake of immunizations and screening tests, with earlier diagnoses of breast and colon cancer. Evidence of improvement in chronic disease outcomes is still lacking.


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