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Int J Med Inform. 2012 Aug;81(8):521-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2012.03.002. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

Adoption of a clinical decision support system to promote judicious use of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections in primary care.

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Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Rutledge Ave Suite 820, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



Overuse of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in primary care is an established risk factor for worsening antimicrobial resistance. The "Reducing Inappropriate Prescribing of Antibiotics by Primary Care Clinicians" study is assessing the impact of a clinical decision support system (CDSS) on antibiotic prescribing for ARIs using a multimethod intervention to facilitate CDSS adoption. The purpose of this report is to describe use of the CDSS, as well as facilitators and barriers to its adoption, during the first year of the 15-month intervention.


Between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010, 39 providers in 9 practices in US states participated in this study. Quarterly EHR based audit and feedback, practice site visits for academic detailing, performance review and CDSS training, and "best-practice" dissemination during two meetings of study participants were used to facilitate CDSS adoption. Mixed methods were used to evaluate adoption of the CDSS. Using data extracted from the EHR, CDSS use for ARI was calculated. To determine facilitators and barriers of CDSS adoption, semi-structured group interviews were conducted with providers and staff at each practice.


During the first year of implementation, the ABX-TRIP CDSS was used 14,086 times for ARI encounters. Overall, practice use of the CDSS during ARI encounters ranged from 39.4% to 77.2%. Median use of the CDSS for adult patients was 58.2% and 68.6% for pediatric patients. Key factors associated with CDSS adoption include the perception by providers that it assists with decision making and stimulates patient discussions, engagement of non-physician staff and an iterative CDSS development process.


Adoption of a custom designed CDSS in the first year of implementation is promising. Successful implementation of such technology requires a focus not only on the technological solution itself, but on its integration with the entire clinical workplace.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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