The impact of education and clinical decision support on the quality of positive antinuclear antibody referrals

Veena Patel*, Kichul Ko, Anisha B. Dua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


To implement and evaluate an intervention using education and clinical decision support (CDS) to improve the quality of positive ANA referrals. We retrospectively reviewed “positive ANA” referrals from April 2017 to May 2019. Demographic data and referring provider’s location were recorded. Final diagnoses were categorized into two groups: rheumatic disease (RD) or no RD. We compared pre- and post-intervention groups for each type of referral. The positive predictive value (PPV) of an ANA referral leading to an RD for each referral group was calculated. Our intervention consisted of an educational poster and CDS which included a hard-stop prompt embedded into the electronic ANA order. All internal subgroups received CDS; only the main campus primary care providers (IPCP) received the educational poster. The external (EXT) referral subgroup did not receive either intervention. We found a significant increase in the number of RDs diagnosed post-intervention (p = 0.007). The PPV for all referrals increased from 16% to 26% during this project. All groups demonstrated improvement in PPV except the EXT group, which showed no change. Subgroups which demonstrated significant increase in the diagnosis of RD included total internal (p = 0.0005), internal PCP (p = 0.002), and affiliated primary care providers (p = 0.0002). The IPCP subgroup additionally received the educational intervention and did not demonstrate significant improvement. Implementing an intervention with a CDS component helps improve the quality of positive ANA referrals to rheumatology.Key Points• Clinical decision support improves the quality of positive ANA referrals.• Incorporating clinical decision support within the ANA order of an EHR is an effective way to deliver information to impact ordering at the “point of care.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2921-2925
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Quality improvement
  • Referral and consultation
  • Rheumatology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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