Reminders Improve Practices' Quality-Assurance Testing

Postal, computer reminders equally increase adherence to quality-assurance program

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Practices' adherence to a quality-assurance program for point-of-care testing (POCT) devices can be improved with reminders, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Volkert Siersma, Ph.D., from University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues randomized 213 family practices that use the Elective Laboratory of the Capital Region to receive either computer reminders (ComRem) or postal reminders (Postal) if they did not perform a split test to check the quality of their international normalized ratio (INR) POCT for each calendar month. Adherence to the practice was followed for eight months.

The researchers found that both interventions were associated with an increase in adherence to the split test procedure (a factor 6.00 and 8.22 for ComRem and Postal, respectively). The expected number of split tests for the ComRem group (out of four) was 2.54, compared to 2.44 in the Postal group (P = 0.14). Over the follow-up period there was a slight decrease in adherence, but neither intervention was better than the other in achieving a lasting improvement in adherence.

"Computer reminders are as efficient as postal reminders in increasing adherence to a quality-assurance program for the INR POCT device in primary care," the authors write.

One author is working in the Elective Laboratory of the Capital Region that provided data for the study and sent out the reminders.

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