Learn how you can help streamline your practice and empower the healthcare team with these resources and strategies:

Incorporate clinical decision support tools and systems

These tools vary in complexity from simple paper-based tools to more sophisticated computerized clinical information systems. Either way, the goal is to streamline your practice and improve patient care. When implemented appropriately, these tools can:

  • Detect potential safety and quality problems and help prevent them
  • Improve utilization of services, medications, and supplies
  • Promote greater use of evidence-based medicine principles and guidelines
  • Organize, optimize, and help operationalize the patient care plan
  • Ensure that the best clinical knowledge and recommendations are used to improve health management decisions by clinicians and patients
  • Organize patient and population data for more efficient and effective care

Resources to help you get started

  • Build a registry – electronic or paper-based – of patients with chronic disease in your practice
    • PennCME/BestPractice PQRI Registry is a free interactive, web-based system that guides primary care clinicians through the CMS Performance and Quality Reporting Initiative. [link]
    • Using a Simple Patient Registry to Improve Your Chronic Disease Care is an article in Family Practice Management with an Excel registry template for you to use in your practice. [link]
  • Learn about electronic health records
    • The FPM Toolbox from the American Academy of Family Physicians has a section dedicated to health information technology. [link]
    • The American College of Physicians website offers resources to help doctors select an appropriate EHR system for their practice. [link]
    • The Dollar and Sense Behind the Electronic Health Record is a personal and quick overview of the value of the EHR in a family practice. [download PDF]
    • How We Improved Our Practice and Our Bottom Line with a New EMR System is a practical review of the experiences of one four-doctor family practice. [Link]
  • Identify appropriate clinical decision support tools
    • The Institute for Healthcare Improvement offers a set of delivery system design tools to improve performance in primary care. Practical resources include a Patient Cycle Tool, True Demand Formula, Scripts for Scheduling Appointments, Unplanned Activity Cards, and a Physician Practice Safety Assessment. [link]
    • National Guidelines Clearinghouse offers a number of evidence-based clinical guidelines that can be printed out or linked to, for quick reference. [link]
    • Patient reminder system is a brief article with links to resources. [link]
  • Access online resources to incorporate systems in the management of patients with type 2 diabetes
    • Making Systems Changes for Diabetes Care [link] is a website developed by the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) to help healthcare professionals improve the way diabetes is prevented and treated. The site provides steps, models, guidelines, resources, and tools for the process of making and evaluating effective systems changes.

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