Physicians' reasons for failing to comply with computerized preventive care guidelines

J Gen Intern Med. 1996 Aug;11(8):497-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02599049.


The objective of this study was to assess reasons for physicians' noncompliance with computer-generated preventive care reminders. In an academic general internal medicine practice, a survey of physicians' reasons for noncompliance found that 55% of reminders were not complied with. Reasons included "not applicable" in 22.6% (test done elsewhere, patient too ill, no uterus), "next visit" in 22.5% (physician too busy, patient too ill), and "patient refuses" in 9.9% (test not necessary or too costly, patient too busy or fears result). We conclude that although noncompliance with reminders is sometimes appropriate, making time for prevention and patient education may augment preventive care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Data Collection
  • Decision Making, Computer-Assisted*
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / trends*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Primary Prevention* / methods
  • Primary Prevention* / trends
  • Treatment Refusal*