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Behavioral Health Decision Support Systems and User Interface Design in the Emergency DepartmentFunding This work was supported by the Advance-CTR x, Big Data Pilot Project Award, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (grant no.: U54GM115677).
Objective The objective of this qualitative study is to gauge physician sentiment about an emergency department (ED) clinical decision support (CDS) system implemented in multiple adult EDs within a university hospital system. This CDS system focuses on predicting patients' likelihood of ED recidivism and/or adverse opioid-related events.
Methods The study was conducted among adult emergency physicians working in three EDs of a single academic health system in Rhode Island. Qualitative, semistructured interviews were conducted with ED physicians. Interviews assessed physicians' prior experience with predictive analytics, thoughts on the alert's placement, design, and content, the alert's overall impact, and potential areas for improvement. Responses were aggregated and common themes identified.
Results Twenty-three interviews were conducted (11 preimplementation and 12 postimplementation). Themes were identified regarding each physician familiarity with predictive analytics, alert rollout, alert appearance and content, and on alert sentiments. Most physicians viewed these alerts as a neutral or positive EHR addition, with responses ranging from neutral to positive. The alert placement was noted to be largely intuitive and nonintrusive. The design of the alert was generally viewed positively. The alert's content was believed to be accurate, although the decision to respond to the alert's call-to-action was physician dependent. Those who tended to ignore the alert did so for a few reasons, including already knowing the information the alert contains, the alert offering information that is not relevant to this particular patient, and the alert not containing enough information to be useful.
Conclusion Ultimately, this alert appears to have a marginally positive effect on ED physician workflow. At its most beneficial, the alert reminded physicians to deeply consider the care provided to high-risk populations and to potentially adjust their care and referrals. At its least beneficial, the alert did not affect physician decision-making but was not intrusive to the point of negatively impacting workflow.
Keywordsdecision support systems - clinical - emergency department - hospital - informatics - attitude - interview
Protection of Human and Animal Subjects
Study participants were deidentified prior to analysis, with identifying information contained in a password-protected file within a secure file-sharing environment. This study was reviewed and approved by the relevant Institutional Review Board. Study participants were compensated for their participation via gift card.
Received: 27 February 2023
Accepted: 06 June 2023
Article published online:
06 September 2023
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