Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Intern Med. 2001 Feb 20;134(4):274-81.

Assessment of decision support for blood test ordering in primary care. a randomized trial.

Author information

Department of Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, the Netherlands.



Different methods for changing blood test-ordering behavior in primary care have been proven effective. However, randomized trials comparing these methods are lacking.


To compare the effect of two versions of BloodLink, a computer-based clinical decision support system, on blood test ordering among general practitioners.


Randomized trial.


44 practices of general practitioners in the region of Delft, the Netherlands.


60 general practitioners in 44 practices who used computer-based patient records in their practices.


After stratification by solo practices and group practices, practices were randomly assigned to use BloodLink-Restricted, which initially displays a reduced list of tests, or BloodLink-Guideline, which is based on the guidelines of the Dutch College of General Practitioners.


Average number of blood tests ordered per order form per practice.


General practitioners who used BloodLink-Guideline requested 20% fewer tests on average than did practitioners who used BloodLink-Restricted (mean [+/-SD], 5.5 +/- 0.9 tests vs. 6.9 +/- 1.6 tests, respectively; P = 0.003, Mann-Whitney test).


Decision support based on guidelines is more effective in changing blood test-ordering behavior than is decision support based on initially displaying a limited number of tests. Guideline-driven decision support systems can be effective in reducing the number of laboratory tests ordered by primary care practitioners.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center