Clinical Decision Support Systems to Reduce Unnecessary Clostridoides difficile Testing Across Multiple Hospitals

Link to article at PubMed

Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Feb 1:ciac074. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciac074. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Inappropriate C. difficile testing has adverse consequences for the patient, hospital, and public health. Computerized Clinical Decision Supports (CCDS) in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) may reduce C. difficile test ordering; however, effectiveness of different approaches, ease of use, and best fit into the healthcare providers' (HCP) workflow, are not well understood.

METHODS: Nine academic and 6 community U.S. hospitals participated in this 2-year cohort study. CCDS (hard- or soft-stop) triggered when duplicate C. difficile test order attempted, or if laxatives were recently received. The primary outcome was the difference in testing rates pre- and post-CCDS interventions, using incident rate ratios (IRR) and mixed effect Poisson regression models. We performed qualitative evaluation (contextual inquiry, interviews, focus groups) based on a human factors model. We identified themes using a codebook with primary- and sub-nodes.

RESULTS: In 9 hospitals implementing hard-stop CCDS and 4 hospitals implementing soft-stop CCDS, C. difficile testing IRR reduction was 33% (95% CI, 30-36%), and 23% (95% CI 21-25%), respectively. Two hospitals implemented a non-EMR based human intervention with IRR reduction of 21% (95% CI 15-28%). HCPs reported generally favorable experiences, and highlighted time efficiencies such as inclusion of the patients most recent laxative administration on the CCDS. Organizational factors including hierarchical cultures, and communication between HCPs caring for the same patient, impact CCDS acceptance and integration.

CONCLUSIONS: CCDS reduced unnecessary C. difficile testing and were perceived positively by HCPs when integrated into their workflow, and when displayed relevant patient specific information needed for decision-making.

PMID:35100620 | DOI:10.1093/cid/ciac074

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