Patients view physicians who use clinical decision support tools more negatively than doctors who do not use the tools or choose to consult a colleague, according to a study published in the journal Medical Decision Making, FierceEMR reports.
For the study, University of Missouri researchers conducted three separate experiments to assess how patients view physician use of clinical decision support tools.
Compared with patients whose physicians did not use clinical decision support tools, researchers found that patients whose physicians used the tools:
- Viewed their doctors as less capable;
- Were less satisfied with their care; and
- Potentially were less likely to comply with treatment recommendations (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 1/28).
However, researchers found that patients were less likely to blame doctors for negative health outcomes when clinical decision support tools were used, suggesting that the technology could provide some protection against litigation (University of Missouri release, 1/24).
The researchers speculated that patients might object to the use of clinical decision support tools because they:
- View the technology as impersonal;
- Generally distrust computer systems; and
- Believe the tools result in a loss of face-to-face time with their physician (FierceEMR, 1/28).
Comments on Study
Victoria Shaffer -- study author and assistant professor of health sciences and psychological sciences at the University of Missouri -- said physicians could address patients' concerns about clinical decision support tools by using the technology to better engage patients in their care. She said that physicians can use the systems "as teaching tools to explain their diagnoses using pictures or graphs, which make the patients' experiences much more interactive and educational."
Shaffer called for further research on whether educating patients about the benefits of clinical decision support tools would lessen their concerns (University of Missouri release, 1/24).