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NICE guideline alerts could be integrated with clinical IT

NICE is looking to develop a tool for GP IT systems that would pop up with the latest information on a condition without interrupting consultation.

Speaking at the Best Practice conference in Birmingham today, chair Professor David Haslam said the clinical excellence body was already in discussions with IT suppliers about the tool, which would ‘ergonomically’ fit the way GPs work.

Professor Haslam explained that the constant evolution of medical evidence and NICE guidelines meant it was increasingly diffiicult for GPs to stay up to date.

He added that the system would not have a rigid template as this would ‘completely disrupt’ consultations.

Professor Haslam told delegates: ‘What I do believe, and I’ve talked to computer companies about this, you’re about to treat someone for hypertension, you’re the verge of pressing the key to print a prescription and the computer politely coughs and says “excuse me Dr Haslam, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to think about something critical that you’ve missed?”

‘I think that’s entirely doable, even if I’m slightly facetious in how I’ve said that. But that’s actually the aim, so it ergonomically fits with the way we work, and we are actually talking to companies about how we might do that.’

Speaking to Pulse he added: ‘It’s right at the beginning of discussions. But it’s absolutely an aspiration, for the very reason that: how on earth can GPs cope with the constant “what do we believe this month about the treatment of hypertension?”.

‘Because it genuinely does change and producing a document on a website isn’t much help in the middle of surgery. So we need some way that this will blend with the systems. So a long way off, but part of the aspiration very much so.’

Readers' comments (4)

  • The number of pop ups in daily use of our local vision system has become irritating and, yes, disruptive.
    Local prescribing scripts witch, allergies, contraindications, warnings, QoF data, guidelines. In order to do a simple prescription it now takes about 8 clicks to print. PLEASE don't give us any more, I no longer read any of them.

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  • Dear All
    As long as when it pops up and says "excuse me Dr Haslam...." it follows on with "oh and by the way I'm only likely to have a 1 in 4 relevance to what you are doing".

    Those of you with distant enough memories think Prodigy.

    Regards
    Paul C

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  • Bornjovial

    Some safety features are already built into certain clinical systems. Eg back pain diagnosis in a patient in cancer register will pop up an red alert to look for spinal compression.
    This is fine for Cancers which can metstatize but irelevant for BCC. As back pain is common issue it creates lots of false alerts.
    As a programmer and and a GP , I feel doctors see IT as intrusive and inflexible while programmers see medicine as not completly logical!.
    Too many alerts causes alert fatigue. Americans have had same for years and now evaluating measures to combat alert fatiigue.

    Medicine is not a exact science - one has to doubt selectively- if you doubt everything- referrals and investigations will skyrocket but overall outcomes may actually worsen. Eg after "name and shame" propaganda many 2ww clinics in the country are overrun and trusts are begging GP`s to "rethink" " 2WW referrals.
    Also unlike some safety issues that are set in stone, NICE guidelines are just that -GUIDELINES. There are other guidelines applicable - the European and American guidelines for each of NICE guidelines and frankly some aim for best care for patients and not cost in mind!!!

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  • "Also unlike some safety issues that are set in stone, NICE guidelines are just that -GUIDELINES. There are other guidelines applicable - the European and American guidelines for each of NICE guidelines and frankly some aim for best care for patients and not cost in mind!!!"

    Very well said - if only more thought like you.

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