A "diabetes dashboard" screen helps clinicians quickly and accurately access patient data needed for quality diabetes care

Research Activities, April 2012

A "diabetes dashboard" on the electronic health record (EHR) screen summarizes a patient's diabetes and other health problems, allergies, and medications as well as their results on standard eye and foot exams and cholesterol, blood-glucose, and other tests. This dashboard can speed a primary care physician's (PCP's) search for key diabetes-related data and improve the accuracy of the data found, according to a new study. In many EHRs, the physician must search many pages of the record to assemble data needed for making decisions to maintain high-quality care for patients with type II diabetes.

Richelle J. Koopman, M.D., M.S., and her colleagues at the University of Missouri Health System developed a diabetes dashboard that appears on a patient's problem page of the EHR for diagnosed diabetes. They found that 10 PCPs asked to find specific data about the quality of diabetes care in a record without the dashboard took a mean of 5.5 minutes and used a mean of 60 mouse clicks. In contrast, those using an EHR with the dashboard took a mean of 1.3 minutes and 3 clicks to find the same data. In addition, the physicians correctly identified 94 percent of the requested data when searching a standard EHR, but had 100 percent accuracy when searching an EHR with a diabetes dashboard. A common response in qualitative interviews with the physicians was that if the physician found it too time-consuming to find some data, they would continue without it or reorder that test.

The researchers collaborated with the EHR's corporate developer to create a diabetes dashboard that would be automatically generated by the EHR to summarize patient-level data important for diabetes care. The researchers conducted the study, a usability evaluation, with 10 health system family and general internal medicine physicians with outpatient practices, who used a laptop loaded with two mock EHRs (one with and one without the diabetes dashboard). The study was funded in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS17035).

More details are in A diabetes dashboard and physician efficiency and accuracy in accessing data needed for high-quality diabetes care, by Richelle J. Koopman, M.D., M.S., Karl M. Kochendorfer, M.D., Joi L. Moore, Ph.D., and others in the September/October 2011 Annals of Family Medicine 9(5), pp. 398-405.

Current as of April 2012
Internet Citation: A "diabetes dashboard" screen helps clinicians quickly and accurately access patient data needed for quality diabetes care: Research Activities, April 2012. April 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/apr12/0412RA6.html