Rationale, aims and objectives The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends a one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) with ultrasonography for men aged 65 to 75 years who have ever smoked. However, despite a mortality rate of up to 80% for ruptured AAAs, providers order the screening for a minority of patients. We sought to determine the effect of a Web-based point-of-care clinical decision support system on AAA screening rates in a primary care practice.
Methods We conducted a retrospective review of medical records of male patients aged 65 to 75 years who were seen at any of our practice sites in 2007 and 2008, before and after implementation of the clinical decision support system.
Results Overall screening rates were 31.36% in 2007 and 44.09% in 2008 (P-value: <0.001). Of patients who had not had AAA screening prior to the visit, 3.22% completed the screening after the visit in 2007, compared with 18.24% in 2008 when the clinical support system was implemented, 5.36 times improvement (P-value: <0.001).
Conclusions A Web-based clinical decision support for primary care physicians significantly improved delivery of AAA screening of eligible patients. Carefully developed clinical decision support systems can optimize care delivery, ensuring that important preventive services are delivered to eligible patients.