COMPUTERIZATION OF CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINES - A REVIEW ON CLINICAL CARE ALGORITHM
Author: Vijayashree Mekala, BHMS
Primary Advisor: Kathy A. Johnson, PhD (co-author)
Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston.
Clinical Practice Guidelines are developed to standardize care, to reduce practice variations, to improve health care quality, and to control costs. Most of the Clinical Practice Guidelines have been developed in text format and physicians find it difficult to adopt these guidelines. The effective implementation of the Clinical Practice Guidelines and physician acceptance can be fostered and expedited by the computerization of Clinical Practice Guidelines. There are numerous ways to computerize text based Clinical Practice Guidelines, of which, development of clinical care algorithms is found to be the best and widely used. This paper reviews available literature on the Clinical Care Algorithm and concludes that Critical Factors like Scope and Purpose of the Guideline, Entry/Exclusion criteria, Structured Repeatable algorithm or temporal abstraction, Formal Expression Language, Flow factor, Patient attributes and Annotations along with a measure of physician compliance should be considered in improving the Clinical Care Algorithm.