An efficacy trial of an electronic health record-based strategy to inform patients on safe medication use: The role of written and spoken communication

Laura M. Curtis*, Rebecca J. Mullen, Allison Russell, Aimee Fata, Stacy C. Bailey, Gregory Makoul, Michael S. Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective We tested the feasibility and efficacy of an electronic health record (EHR) strategy that automated the delivery of print medication information at the time of prescribing. Methods Patients (N = 141) receiving a new prescription at one internal medicine clinic were recruited into a 2-arm physician-randomized study. We leveraged an EHR platform to automatically deliver 1-page educational ‘MedSheets’ to patients after medical encounters. We also assessed if physicians counseled patients via patient self-report immediately following visits. Patients’ understanding was objectively measured via phone interview. Results 122 patients completed the trial. Most intervention patients (70%) reported receiving MedSheets. Patients reported physicians frequently counseled on indication and directions for use, but less often for risks. In multivariable analysis, written information (OR 2.78, 95% CI 1.10–7.04) and physician counseling (OR 2.95, 95% CI 1.26–6.91) were independently associated with patient understanding of risk information. Receiving both was most beneficial; 87% of those receiving counseling and MedSheets correctly recalled medication risks compared to 40% receiving neither. Conclusion An EHR can be a reliable means to deliver tangible, print medication education to patients, but cannot replace the salience of physician-patient communication. Practice implications Offering both written and spoken modalities produced a synergistic effect for informing patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1495
Number of pages7
JournalPatient education and counseling
Volume99
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Patient education
  • Physician counseling
  • Prescription medications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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