Implementing clinical decision support systems is not a cost-effective way to treat patients with Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, CMIO reports.
For the study, researchers assessed the cost-effectiveness of a Web-based clinical decision support system called the Computerization of Medical Practices for the Enhancement of Therapeutic Effectiveness II, or COMPETE II.
Over a one-year intervention period targeting patients with Type 2 diabetes, the COMPETE II system collected patient data from 47 primary care practices in Ontario. The system:
- Allowed for the creation of patient profiles that could be accessed online;
- Offered evidence-based treatment recommendations to health care providers; and
- Provided patients with medical reminders.
The study found that the use of the COMPETE II system helped decrease patients' relative risk of:
- Amputation by 14%:
- Stroke by 12%
- Renal failure by 9%; and
- Heart failure by 5%.
Researchers noted that although the system slightly improved short-term risk factors and could lead to moderate long-term health improvements, it costs $483,699 to design and implement.
They estimated that the system costs about $160,845 per quality-adjusted life year, noting that the system would need to cost less or deliver better results to be cost effective.
Researchers suggest that larger-scale implementations of clinical decision support systems over a longer intervention period could be more cost effective (Gale, CMIO, 11/11).