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Int J Psychiatry Med. 1999;29(3):267-86.

The electronic medical record: its role in disseminating depression guidelines in primary care practice.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, USA.



Using the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research Depression Guideline Panel's recommendations as its focus, this article describes a step-by-step approach for disseminating a paper-based depression guideline to primary care physicians via a commercially available electronic medical record (EMR) system.


Description of the author's approach to disseminate an evidence-based depression treatment guideline to a group of primary care physicians using a commercially available EMR system and to evaluate the results.


We review clinical considerations and practical barriers faced in this process with the expectation that our experiences can guide others attempting to disseminate psychiatric treatment guideline via EMR systems.


The EMR offers critical efficiencies in disseminating state-of-the-art clinical practice guidelines and in directing the primary care physicians' use of them. Still, well-designed, randomized controlled trials are necessary to demonstrate their effectiveness at enhancing patient outcomes for major depression in primary care settings.

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