Effects of a computerized decision support system in improving pharmacological management in high-risk cardiovascular patients: A cluster-randomized open-label controlled trial

Health Informatics J. 2016 Jun;22(2):232-47. doi: 10.1177/1460458214546773. Epub 2014 Sep 10.


This study was aimed to investigate the effects of computerized decision support system in improving the prescription of drugs for cardiovascular prevention. A total of 197 Italian general practitioners were randomly allocated to receive either the alerting computerized decision support system integrated into standard software (intervention arm) or the standard software alone (control arm). Data on 21230 patients with diabetes, 3956 with acute myocardial infarction, and 2158 with stroke were analysed. The proportion of patients prescribed with cardiovascular drugs and days of drug-drug interaction exposure were evaluated. Computerized decision support system significantly increased the proportion of patients with diabetes prescribed with antiplatelet drugs (intervention: +2.7% vs.

Control: +0.15%; p < 0.001) or lipidlowering drugs (+4.2% vs. +2.8%; p = 0.001). A statistically significant decrease in days of potential interactions has been observed only among patients with stroke (-1.2 vs. -0.5 days/person-year; p = 0.001). In conclusion, computerized decision support system significantly increased the use of recommended cardiovascular drugs in diabetic patients, but it did not influence the exposure to potential interactions.

Keywords: cardiovascular drugs; decision support system; drug–drug interactions; general practitioners; primary care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Drug Prescriptions / standards*
  • Female
  • General Practice
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy
  • Software
  • Stroke / therapy