Med dashboard improves adherence, but not outcomes

Use of a clinical dashboard within an electronic health record system helped improve medication adherence among patients with diabetes, but not their overall health outcomes, according to a study published at JMIR Medical Informatics.

The study focused on a Web-based module for the EHR system that aggregates data from three sources: pharmacy refill orders, lab and point-of-care tests and patient-reported data on perceived barriers to adherence. During a regular primary care visit, the doctor could pull up the dashboard with the information designed to spark conversations with the patient about medication adherence.

The patient-reported data involved a 20-item questionnaire to be filled out through a patient portal. During the study, however, only a quarter of participants actually completed the questionnaire.

While medication adherence improved, clinical outcomes, including HbA1c, blood pressure, lipid control, and number of emergency department visits remained unchanged.

"While the intervention shows potential for addressing patterns of medication use, it will require further work, especially more effective implementation strategies, to more actively engage patients in contributing data and providers in using the data if broader impact beyond adherence is to be achieved," the authors concluded.

Researchers from Delaware's Christiana Care Health System and elsewhere also looked at integrating pharmacy claims data in electronic health records as a means to identify and follow up with patients who don't fill their blood pressure prescriptions.

In addition, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine uses a data-driven provider dashboard to look not at patients, but assess the quality of its physicians.

To learn more:
- here's the research

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