Designing healthcare information technology to catalyse change in clinical care

Inform Prim Care. 2008;16(1):9-19. doi: 10.14236/jhi.v16i1.670.


The gap between best practice and actual patient care continues to be a pervasive problem in our healthcare system. Efforts to improve on this knowledge-performance gap have included computerised disease management programs designed to improve guideline adherence. However, current computerised reminder and decision support interventions directed at changing physician behaviour have had only a limited and variable effect on clinical outcomes. Further, immediate pay-for-performance financial pressures on institutions have created an environment where disease management systems are often created under duress, appended to existing clinical systems and poorly integrated into the existing workflow, potentially limiting their real-world effectiveness. The authors present a review of disease management as well as a conceptual framework to guide the development of more effective health information technology (HIT) tools for translating clinical information into clinical action.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted
  • Disease Management*
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Information Systems / instrumentation
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / instrumentation*
  • Patient Compliance
  • User-Computer Interface