2 research outputs found

    Barriers and Facilitators to Use of a Clinical Evidence Technology for Management of Skin Problems in Primary Care: Insights from Mixed Methods

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    Background: A previous cluster-randomized controlled trial tested the effectiveness of a clinical evidence technology (CET), VisualDx, for skin problems seen by Primary Care Providers (PCPs). Based on patient report, there was no effect on time to problem resolution or return appointments. Objective: To explain, from the provider perspective, why the CET did not make a difference in the clinical trial and to identify barriers and facilitators to use. Methods: Mixed methods study design. Providers from both arms completed a survey about their use of VisualDx and information-seeking during and after the trial. Active arm providers participated in interviews to explore their opinions and experiences using VisualDx. Behavioral steps of the evidence-based medicine (EBM) paradigm informed the 6 step model. Results: PCPs found VisualDx easy to use (median 3 on a 1-4 scale), but found it only somewhat useful (median 2 on a 1-4 scale). PCPs with fewer years in practice used it more often and found it easier to use. Interviews identified facilitators and barriers to using VisualDx. Facilitators included diagnostic uncertainty, positive attitude, easy access, utility for diagnosis and therapy decisions, and utility for patient communication. Barriers included confidence in dermatology, preference for other sources, interface difficulty, and retrieval of irrelevant diagnoses and images. Some PCPs reported positive impacts on patient treatment and fewer referrals; others saw no difference. PCPs found VisualDx easy to access, but some found the interface difficult to use. They found it useful and relevant at times, but also frustrating and time-consuming. They used other sources in addition to, or instead of, VisualDx. Conclusion: PCPs did not perceive VisualDx as “useful” often enough for them to use it frequently or exclusively, thereby reducing the likelihood of its making a difference in patient-level outcomes such as problem resolution and return appointments

    Barriers and Facilitators to Use of a Clinical Evidence Technology in the Management of Skin Problems in Primary Care: Insights from Mixed Methods

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    Objective: Few studies have examined the impact of a single clinical evidence technology (CET) on provider practice or patient outcomes from the provider’s perspective. A previous cluster-randomized controlled trial with patient-reported data tested the effectiveness of a CET (i.e., VisualDx) in improving skin problem outcomes but found no significant effect. The objectives of this follow-up study were to identify barriers and facilitators to the use of the CET from the perspective of primary care providers (PCPs) and to identify reasons why the CET did not affect outcomes in the trial. Methods: Using a convergent mixed methods design, PCPs completed a post-trial survey and participated in interviews about using the CET for the management of patients’ skin problems. Data from both methods were integrated. Results: PCPs found the CET somewhat easy to use but only occasionally useful. Less experienced PCPs used the CET more frequently. Data from interviews revealed barriers and facilitators at four steps of evidence-based practice: clinical question recognition, information acquisition, appraisal of relevance, and application with patients. Facilitators included uncertainty in dermatology, intention for use, convenience of access, diagnosis and treatment support, and patient communication. Barriers included confidence in dermatology, preference for other sources, interface difficulties, presence of irrelevant information, and lack of decision impact. Conclusion: PCPs found the CET useful for diagnosis, treatment support, and patient communication. However, the barriers of interface difficulties, irrelevant search results, and preferred use of other sources limited its positive impact on patient skin problem management
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