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J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2013 Apr;17(2):175-81. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e3182607137.

Use of electronic medical record-based tools to improve compliance with cervical cancer screening guidelines: effect of an educational intervention on physicians' practice patterns.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.



This study aimed to determine whether electronic medical record (EMR)-based tools influence providers' compliance with guidelines for cervical cancer screening in adolescent (<21 y) patients.


Three EMR-based tools to educate providers on cervical cancer screening guidelines were implemented midyear in 2010. Charts of adolescents with Pap and/or human papillomavirus results from January to December 2010 were reviewed. Physicians' demographic data were collected. Appropriateness of the index Pap and follow-up were determined using American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology guidelines.


A total of 380 Pap tests were completed on 374 adolescents. Fewer Pap tests were done after the EMR interventions (229 vs 151, p < .0005). The proportion of Pap tests ordered by primary care providers was significantly higher than obstetrician-gynecologists (Ob/Gyns) (70% vs 30%, p < .0005). The number of Pap tests done by Ob/Gyns decreased 60% after EMR interventions (from 82 to 33, p < .0005) and that done by primary care physicians decreased 20% (from 147 to 118, p = .08). Indicated Pap tests were more often ordered by Ob/Gyn than by primary care, especially after EMR changes (31.4% vs 7.6%, p < .0005). Reflex human papillomavirus testing (if atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance) was high (74%) and did not improve after the EMR changes (72% vs 76%). The rate of co-testing in adolescents decreased in the primary care department after the EMR changes (13% vs 6%, p = .049).


Electronic medical record prompts improved compliance with cervical cytology guidelines for adolescents, suggesting that EMR may be an important tool to enhance compliance with changing recommendations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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