Computerized algorithms and pediatricians' management of common problems in a community clinic

Acad Med. 1992 Apr;67(4):282-4. doi: 10.1097/00001888-199204000-00021.


In 1987, a microcomputer clinical algorithm (CA) system for constructing and using CAs for patient care was designed and implemented for six common primary care pediatrics problems. Six community clinic pediatricians agreed to use the system for several months. Length of patient's visit, completeness of data collection, antibiotic use, and appropriateness of clinical plan were measured before the computers were introduced (without CAs) and after the computers were introduced (both with and without CAs). All performance measures improved after the introduction of CAs. However, CA implementation had to be discontinued after five weeks because the CAs were too tedious for the physicians to follow during routine care. The authors conclude that CAs cannot be successfully sustained with physicians for common problems, even though their design and use can significantly improve the process of care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Centers
  • Data Collection / standards
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Israel
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / standards*
  • Medical Staff / psychology
  • Microcomputers
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Quality of Health Care