Clinical decision support technology to increase advance care planning in the primary care setting

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011 Jun;28(4):230-5. doi: 10.1177/1049909110386045. Epub 2010 Nov 7.


Physicians are often unable to guide patients through the advance care planning (ACP) process due to cost and time constraints. We conducted a retrospective analysis in the primary care setting targeting older adults without an advance medical directive (AMD). An ACP educational packet was sent to intervention patients before their health maintenance examination (HME). Additionally, their physicians had access to a computerized clinical decision support system on AMD completion at the time of the HME. Control participants' physicians had access to the computerized decision support system and traditional resources only. All participants who received the packet were sent a follow-up survey. In all, 21.6% of intervention participants completed an AMD, compared with 4.1% of control participants. Combining clinical decision support systems and standardized processes enhances the ACP process.

MeSH terms

  • Advance Care Planning / organization & administration*
  • Advance Directives
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Female
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors