Intervening to Prevent Contextual Errors in Medical Decision Making
This study assessed whether a medical education intervention improves the quality of medical decision making in the care of patients with complex psychosocial -- or contextual -- needs that are essential to address when planning their care. A group of internal medicine residents were randomly assigned to participate in the seminar and practicum and then they, along with a control group that had not participated, were assessed for the quality of their clinical decision making and its impact on patient care. The study also assessed whether contextualization of care is associated with better patient health care outcomes
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
|Official Title:||Intervening to Prevent Contextual Errors in Medical Decision Making|
- Health Outcome Improvement Rate [ Time Frame: After 9 months of the recorded visit ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]A target health outcome improvement for each patient is prospectively defined at the first visit in which a contextual red flag is noted. The study outcome is what proportion of a physician's patients achieve their target health outcome improvement as documented in the medical record at 9 months post first visit.
- Rate of Contextual Probing [ Time Frame: During initial patient recordings ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Proportion of encounters in which physician probed contextual red flags expressed by patients and identified via audio recordings.
- Rate of Contextual Planning [ Time Frame: During initial patient recordings ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Proportion of patient encounters in which the physician's plan of care addressed contextual factors identified in the audio recordings
|Study Start Date:||October 2009|
|Study Completion Date:||December 2012|
|Primary Completion Date:||November 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: Seminar and Practicum
Seminar and practicum that occurs over 4 week period for internal medicine residents, designed to provide a systematic approach to identifying and addressing contextual factors essential to planning patient care.
Behavioral: Seminar and Practicum
A 4 hour seminar and practicum for internal medicine residents designed to provide a systematic approach to identifying contextual factors essential to planning patient care.
No Intervention: No intervention
No educational intervention.
We enrolled 139 internal medicine residents at 2 VA hospitals, Jesse Brown and Hines, in a randomized controlled design. Half participated in a 4 hour seminar series integrated into their ambulatory curriculum. Each month a total of 8 residents participated. Following the intervention there were 3 levels of assessment: (1) All participants, intervention and control, participated in a brief exercise interviewing 4 standardized patients (SPs). Note that we separately enlisted the assistance of 8 attending physicians to assist with case development for these SPs. (2) The research team subsequently enrolled 3 real patients from each physician's practice with "red flags" such as poor adherence, or missed visits, suggestive of contextual issues that need to be addressed. Physicians were scored on their performance at identifying the underlying contextual factors that account for these red flags and on formulating an appropriate plan of care. (3) The coders prospectively defined successful vs. unsuccessful outcomes for each case. At the follow up visit data was collected on whether the desired outcome was achieved. The analysis compared the skills, performance and outcomes of the intervention compared with the control group to determine the efficacy of training residents to individualize care.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00856557
|United States, Illinois|
|Jesse Brown VAMC|
|Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60612|
|Principal Investigator:||Saul J. Weiner, MD||Jesse Brown VAMC|