The Use of Decision Support to Measure Documented Adherence to a National Imaging Quality Measure

Authors: Ali S. Raja, MD, MBA, Anurag Gupta, MD, MBA, Ivan K. Ip, MD, MPH, Angela M. Mills, MD, Ramin Khorasani, MD, MPH

Rationale and Objectives
Present methods for measuring adherence to national imaging quality measures often require a resource-intensive chart review. Computerized decision support systems may allow for automated capture of these data. We sought to determine the feasibility of measuring adherence to a national quality measure (NQM) regarding computed tomography pulmonary angiograms (CTPAs) for pulmonary embolism using measure-targeted clinical decision support and whether the associated increased burden of data captured required by this system would affect the use and yield of CTs.

Materials and Methods
This institutional review board–approved prospective cohort study enrolled patients from September 1, 2009, through November 30, 2011, in the emergency department (ED) of a 776-bed quaternary-care adults-only academic medical center. Our intervention consisted of an NQM-targeted clinical decision support tool for CTPAs, which required mandatory input of the Wells criteria and serum D-dimer level. The primary outcome was the documented adherence to the quality measure prior and subsequent to the intervention, and the secondary outcomes were the use and yield of CTPAs.

A total of 1209 patients with suspected PE (2.0% of 58,795 ED visits) were imaged by CTPA during the 12-month control period, and 1212 patients were imaged in the 12 months after the quarter during which the intervention was implemented (2.0% of 59,478 ED visits, P = .84). Documented baseline adherence to the NQM was 56.9% based on a structured review of the provider notes. After implementation, documented adherence increased to 75.6% (P < .01). CTPA yield remained unchanged and was 10.4% during the control period and 10.1% after the intervention (P = .88).

Implementation of a clinical decision support tool significantly improved documented adherence to an NQM, enabling automated measurement of provider adherence to evidence without the need for resource-intensive chart review. It did not adversely affect the use or yield of CTPAs.