Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Computer resources help doctors answer patient care questions

22.01.2004


You bring questions to your physician, but if your doctor has questions about how to best provide care for you, where does he or she go for answers? Physicians still use paper-based resources, however, a University of Iowa Health Care study focused on pediatricians shows that, in comparison, it takes less than one-third of the time to use the computer to find an answer.



The study, which also shows the effectiveness of training physicians to use computer resources for patient care questions, appears in the January 2004 issue of the journal Pediatrics. A related study on pediatricians’ most common types of clinical questions appears in the January 2004 issue of the journal Ambulatory Pediatrics. That study shows resources should better take into account the types of questions doctors have about their young patients. The two studies were based on the participation of faculty and resident pediatricians at Children’s Hospital of Iowa.

"There has been little research on how physicians seek answers to clinical care questions and, of that, virtually nothing focuses on pediatricians," said Donna D’Alessandro, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.


"We tried to characterize what pediatricians did when they had questions and also what those questions were. The underlying goal is ultimately to make different information resources available," she said. "If we can develop better resources for physicians to use when they have questions, then hopefully we can improve patient care."

Previous studies show that roughly one patient care question per physician goes unanswered in any given day, and the most common reason is lack of time. In addition, resources either are not available, not up-to-date, or do not provide information in a way that answers the specific question about a specific patient.

The study published in Pediatrics focused on types of resources -- paper-based or online/digital. First, a control group of 41 pediatricians used the paper-based resources for in-patient and out-patient questions. Nearly a year later, an "intervention" group of 31 pediatricians received a 10-minute training session on how best to use computer resources. While both groups were equally successful in finding correct answers (overall, 94.4 percent of the time), after the computer training, physicians spent an average of eight minutes seeking answers compared to nearly 20 minutes previously. In addition, after training, the physicians used the computers significantly more often.

"Physicians generally use paper-based resources because that’s generally what we have available. If computers will save time, we need to shift physicians’ behaviors from using paper to using computer-based resources," D’Alessandro said. "We don’t know if the 10-minute interventions alone can make all the difference, but it made pediatricians very aware of what types of resources are available to them and how they could go about using computers."

In her own practice, D’Alessandro increasingly uses the Internet to get the most current information about topics such as SARS, anthrax or influenza. She also finds more and more information that is available only online, such as traveler health information issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Previously, the CDC’s travel ’yellow’ book used to be printed once a year and quickly got outdated. Now it’s on the Web and if they make a change based on something that’s happened in the world, I know about it right away. I don’t have to rely on two-year-old data," she said.

D’Alessandro added that remotely using online or digital resources also provides an advantage over paper resources when physicians are on call, for example.

The study published in Ambulatory Pediatrics revealed the most common question is "What is the dose of drug X?" that should be given to a particular patient. That type of question is fairly straightforward, and a resource such as the Physician’s Desk Reference, available both in print and online, can provide an accurate answer. However, other questions were not as easily answered, such as "What’s the treatment for condition X?" because it is difficult to apply to a patient with other medical problems.

D’Alessandro said that medical educators need to think about these issues and develop answers so that physicians can not only find the information quickly but also use it for their specific clinical case.

"Physicians use what is convenient to them and what they know," D’Alessandro said. "Our two studies may help more physicians start to believe that computers will make a difference -- then we can start to change their behaviors."

Both studies included grant support from a Robert Wood Johnson General Faculty Scholars Grant awarded to D’Alessandro. Other collaborators on both studies were Clarence Kreiter, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UI Office of Consultation and Research in Medicine and UI Department of Family Medicine, and Michael Peterson, M.D., a former UI faculty member now at the University of California in Fresno. In addition, Peggy Kingsley and Jill Johnson-West, both in the UI Department of Pediatrics, contributed to the question analysis study.


STORY SOURCE:
University of Iowa Health Science Relations,
5137 Westlawn,
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

News releases describing previous computer-related research by D’Alessandro can be found online:
Readability of information about children’s health care:
http://www.uiowa.edu/~ournews/2001/july/0713peds-internet.html
Physician response to unsolicited online requests for help:
http://www.uiowa.edu/~ournews/1999/april/0430online.html
Creation of generalpediatrics.com digital library:
http://www.uiowa.edu/~ournews/2000/may/0508digital_library.html

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.

Becky Soglin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uihealthcare.com

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Product placement: Only brands placed very prominently benefit from 3D technology
07.07.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

nachricht NASA Goddard network maintains communications from space to ground
02.03.2016 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>