Objective: The research evaluated strategies for facilitating physician adoption of an evidence-based medicine literature request feature recently integrated into an existing electronic medical record (EMR) system.
Methods: This prospective study explored use of the service by 137 primary care physicians by using service usage statistics and focus group and survey components. The frequency of physicians' requests for literature via the EMR during a 10-month period was examined to explore the impact of several enhanced communication strategies launched mid-way through the observation period. A focus group and a 25-item survey explored physicians' experiences with the service.
Results: There was no detectable difference in the proportion of physicians utilizing the service after implementation of the customized communication strategies (11% in each time period, P=1.0, McNemar's test). Forty-eight physicians (35%) responded to the survey. Respondents who had used the service (n=19) indicated that information provided through the service was highly relevant to clinical practice (mean rating 4.6, scale 1 "not relevant"-5 "highly relevant"), and most (n=15) reported sharing the information with colleagues.
Conclusion: The enhanced communication strategies, though well received, did not significantly affect use of the service. However, physicians noted the relevance and utility of librarian-summarized evidence from the literature, highlighting the potential benefits of providing expert librarian services in clinical workflow.