The effect of electronic reminders on the recording of diagnoses in primary care: A quasi-experimental before and after study

Tuomo Lehtovuori, Anna M Heikkinen, Marko Raina, Timo Kauppila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study examined whether using electronic reminders leads to an increase in the rate of diagnosis recordings in the electronic health record system following visits to a general practitioner. The impact of electronic reminders was studied in the primary health care of a Finnish city. Methods: This observational quasi-experimental study based on a before-and-after design was carried out by installing an electronic reminder to improve the recording of diagnoses in the computerized electronic health record system. The quantity of the recorded diagnoses was observed before and after the intervention. The effect of this intervention on the distribution of different diagnoses was also studied. Results: Before intervention, 33%-46% of visits (to general practitioners/month) had recorded diagnose in the primary health care units. After 4 years, the recording rate had risen to 87%-95% (p < 0.001). The rate of change in the recording of diagnoses was highest during the first year of intervention and plateaued about 3.5 years after application reminders. In the present study, most of the visits concerned mild respiratory infections, elevated blood pressure, low back pain and type 2 diabetes. Conclusion: An electronic reminder is likely to improve the recording of diagnoses during the visits to general practitioners. The distribution of diagnoses was in line with former reports concerning diagnoses in Finnish primary care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open Medicine
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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