A randomized trial of electronic clinical reminders to improve medication laboratory monitoring.
Electronic reminders to clinicians are one of the earliest methods used to improve patient safety. In this cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted in primary care clinics, clinicians received targeted reminders within the existing electronic medical record prompting them to order laboratory tests to detect adverse medication effects. The most encouraging study result was that clinicians were generally already monitoring patients as recommended—in contrast to data from prior studies—and as a result, the reminders did not appreciably increase test ordering. Prior research has addressed barriers to effective implementation of electronic reminders.