Understanding User Acceptance of Clinical Decision Support Systems to Promote Increased Cancer Screening Rates in a Primary Care Practice

As complexity of cancer screening evolves, primary care providers (PCPs) face challenges in evaluating multiple screening options and appropriately following up on results and rescreening intervals. Thus, Clinical decision support systems (CDDSs) in the electronic medical record (EMR) have been implemented in primary care settings to identify patients due for cancer screening tests, while functioning as a real time reminder system. The purpose of this study was to investigate primary care provider perceptions of utilizing CDSS alerts in the EMR to promote increased screening rates for breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colorectal cancer. Researchers administered an electronic survey to 9 Nurse Practitioners (NP)/Physician Assistants (PA), and 28 Medical Doctors (MD)/Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). They found that the NP/PA group was more likely to agree that alerts were helpful and the number of alerts in the EMR was appropriate. The NP/PA group also was more likely to find alerts straightforward to use. Both groups agreed about feeling comfortable using the health maintenance alerts. These results show that CDSSs can promote and facilitate ordering of cancer screening tests. In the future, more work is needed to identify factors that could optimize alerts to be even more helpful, particularly to MD/DO groups.

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