Impact of the implementation of electronic guidelines for cardiovascular prevention in primary care: study protocol

Eva Comin, Arantxa Catalan-Ramos, Jose M Verdu, Manuel Iglesias-Rodal, Jose L del Val Garcia, Maria Grau, Ester Amado, Angels Pons, Alicia Consola, Ramon Ciurana, Alicia Franzi, Manel Mata, Josep Davins, Xavier Cos, Eva Frigola, Josep Davins


Background The electronic medical records software of the Catalan Institute of Health has recently incorporated an electronic version of clinical practice guidelines (e-CPGs). This study aims to assess the impact of the implementation of e-CPGs on the diagnosis, treatment, control and management of hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes mellitus type 2 and hypertension.

Methods Eligible study participants are those aged 35–74 years assigned to family practitioners (FPs) of the Catalan Institute of Health. Routinely collected data from electronic primary care registries covering 80% of the Catalan population will be analysed using two approaches: (1) a cross-sectional study to describe the characteristics of the sample before e-CPG implementation; (2) a controlled before-and-after study with 1-year follow-up to ascertain the effect of e-CPG implementation. Patients of FPs who regularly use the e-CPGs will constitute the intervention group; the control group will comprise patients assigned to FPs not regularly using the e-CPG. The outcomes are: (1) suspected and confirmed diagnoses, (2) control of clinical variables, (3) requests for tests and (4) proportions of patients with adequate drug prescriptions.

Results This protocol should represent a reproducible process to assess the impact of the implementation of e-CPGs. We anticipate reporting results in late 2013.

Conclusion This project will assess the effectiveness of e-CPGs to improve clinical decisions and healthcare procedures in the three disorders analysed. The results will shed light on the use of evidence-based medicine to improve clinical practice of FPs.


electronic health records; physicians; practice guidelines as topic; primary care; primary health care

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