Journal Article

Accuracy of a computerized clinical decision-support system for asthma assessment and management

Laura J Hoeksema, Alia Bazzy-Asaad, Edwin A Lomotan, Diana E Edmonds, Gabriela Ramírez-Garnica, Richard N Shiffman and Leora I Horwitz

in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association

Published on behalf of American Medical Informatics Association

Volume 18, issue 3, pages 243-250
Published in print May 2011 | ISSN: 1067-5027
Published online May 2011 | e-ISSN: 1527-974X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/amiajnl-2010-000063
Accuracy of a computerized clinical decision-support system for asthma assessment and management

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  • Medical Statistics and Methodology
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Abstract

Objective To evaluate the accuracy of a computerized clinical decision-support system (CDSS) designed to support assessment and management of pediatric asthma in a subspecialty clinic.

Design Cohort study of all asthma visits to pediatric pulmonology from January to December, 2009.

Measurements CDSS and physician assessments of asthma severity, control, and treatment step.

Results Both the clinician and the computerized CDSS generated assessments of asthma control in 767/1032 (74.3%) return patients, assessments of asthma severity in 100/167 (59.9%) new patients, and recommendations for treatment step in 66/167 (39.5%) new patients. Clinicians agreed with the CDSS in 543/767 (70.8%) of control assessments, 37/100 (37%) of severity assessments, and 19/66 (29%) of step recommendations. External review classified 72% of control disagreements (21% of all control assessments), 56% of severity disagreements (37% of all severity assessments), and 76% of step disagreements (54% of all step recommendations) as CDSS errors. The remaining disagreements resulted from pulmonologist error or ambiguous guidelines. Many CDSS flaws, such as attributing all ‘cough’ to asthma, were easily remediable. Pediatric pulmonologists failed to follow guidelines in 8% of return visits and 18% of new visits.

Limitations The authors relied on chart notes to determine clinical reasoning. Physicians may have changed their assessments after seeing CDSS recommendations.

Conclusions A computerized CDSS performed relatively accurately compared to clinicians for assessment of asthma control but was inaccurate for treatment. Pediatric pulmonologists failed to follow guideline-based care in a small proportion of patients.

Keywords: Guidelines; controlled natural language; implementation; machine learning; communication; decision support; safety; informatics

Journal Article.  5134 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Statistics and Methodology ; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Biomathematics and Statistics

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