Background and objectives: Insufficient attention has been paid to the role that modern information systems can play in improving the delivery of and education about preventive services in family medicine training and practice sites. From September 1990-September 1993, the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina conducted a demonstration project designed to develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive, computer-based preventive services delivery and educational system, based on the recommendations in the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Report.
Methods: A computer-based patient record (CPR) system was implemented. The system had sophisticated preventive services tracking and reminder, physician, and patient education features. Twenty-nine basic USPSTF recommendations were incorporated in the system. An extensive physician education series was also implemented. A multi-method evaluation system, including patient exit surveys, physician interviews, and practice audits was used to evaluate and design improvements to the CPR and education systems.
Results: Although the system initially had no effect on patient perceptions about the frequency of preventive services delivery, there was reasonable concordance between patient desires and physician behavior for the discussion of preventive services (Kappa = .5 to .6). Physician acceptance of the system was good--in 1992, 30% of physicians used the preventive services reminders in most of their patient visits, and in 1993, 88% of physicians reported more frequent use. Practice audits from February 1992-July 1993 showed increased adherence with all seven counseling services, 10 of 15 screening services, and one of five immunization services.
Conclusions: A CPR-based preventive services system coupled with an adaptable physician education about and delivery of preventive services. an ideal solution to improving the education about and delivery of preventive services.