Patient Dashboard: the use of a colour-coded computerised clinical reminder in Whanganui regional general practices

J Prim Health Care. 2011 Dec 1;3(4):307-10.


Introduction: Clinical reminders have been shown to help general practice achieve an increase in some preventive care items, especially if they identify a patient's eligibility for the target item, prompt clinicians at the right time, provide a fast link to management tools and facilitate clinical recording. WRPHO has introduced the Patient Dashboard clinical reminder and monitored its impact on health targets.

Aim: This paper reports the impact of a computerised colour-coded clinical reminder on achieving agreed health targets in Whanganui regional practices.

Methods: Patient Dashboard was developed from previous versions in Auckland and Northland and provided to Whanganui regional practices with Primary Health Organisation (PHO) support. The Dashboard was linked with existing and new clinical management tools which automatically updated clinical records. Data from practices was pooled by Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation and target achievement rates reported over 15 months.

Results: Over the initial 15 months of Patient Dashboard use, recording of smoking status increased from 74% to 82% and of alcohol use from 15% to 47%. Screening for diabetes increased from 62% to 74%, cardiovascular risk assessment from 20% to 43%, cervical screening from 71% to 79%, and breast screening from 60% to 80%.

Discussion: Patient Dashboard was associated with increased performance indicators both for those targets which were part of a PHO programme and for targets without additional support.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • General Practice / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • New Zealand
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Regional Medical Programs / organization & administration*
  • Reminder Systems*