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Using the Electronic Medical Record to Improve Education in Patients at Risk for Adrenal Insufficiency

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Author(s): Schweiger Bahareh | Zeitler Philip | Eppley Scott | Swietlik Marguerite | Barker Jennifer

Journal: International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology
ISSN 1687-9848

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 964525;
Date: 2010;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Background. Adrenal insufficiency is a life-threatening event. It is recommended that patients with known adrenal insufficiency and their families receive careful and repeated education on sick-day glucocorticoid management. We hypothesized that the electronic medical record (EMR) can be used to improve patient education through automated provider notification. Methods. We established an automated electronic alert in the EMR that triggered in the outpatient endocrine clinic. The alert asked if stress dose education was reviewed at the visit. The response to this alert was evaluated between July 15, 2009 and February 19, 2010. Results. 128 unique patients had visits both prior to and following the implementation of the EMR alert. The alert was acknowledged in 58 unique patient visits. After the alert was implemented, 87/128 (68%) of the patients had documentation in their record that stress dosing was reviewed. In the visit just prior to implementation of the alert, 48/128 (38%) of the patient encounters showed written documentation of stress dose review. Conclusion. This report documents that an automated alert in the EMR can promote improved provider adherence to recommendations regarding ongoing education of patients for stress dosing of glucocorticoids. Whether this translates into better outcomes for patients remains to be seen.
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