The effectiveness of computerized clinical guidelines in the process of care: a systematic review

BMC Health Serv Res. 2010 Jan 4;10:2. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-10-2.


Background: Clinical practice guidelines have been developed aiming to improve the quality of care. The implementation of the computerized clinical guidelines (CCG) has been supported by the development of computerized clinical decision support systems.This systematic review assesses the impact of CCG on the process of care compared with non-computerized clinical guidelines.

Methods: Specific features of CCG were studied through an extensive search of scientific literature, querying electronic databases: Pubmed/Medline, Embase and Cochrane Controlled Trials Register. A multivariable logistic regression was carried out to evaluate the association of CCG's features with positive effect on the process of care.

Results: Forty-five articles were selected. The logistic model showed that Automatic provision of recommendation in electronic version as part of clinician workflow (Odds Ratio [OR]= 17.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6-193.7) and Publication Year (OR = 6.7; 95%CI: 1.3-34.3) were statistically significant predictors.

Conclusions: From the research that has been carried out, we can conclude that after implementation of CCG significant improvements in process of care are shown. Our findings also suggest clinicians, managers and other health care decision makers which features of CCG might improve the structure of computerized system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / standards*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Social Behavior