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Systematic review
Computer reminders to clinicians during routine activities produce only small improvements in adherence to processes of care: median improvement 4.2%, IQR 0.8–18.8%
  1. Tim A Holt
  1. University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Tim A Holt
    Health Sciences Research Institute, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK; tim.holt{at}

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Commentary on:

Context and epidemiology

Computer-generated reminders are now commonplace in healthcare and are known to influence practitioner behaviour, but the size of this effect has been poorly quantified. Specific characteristics of reminder systems determining their influence have been difficult to identify. This review addresses both these issues.

Methods, main results and conclusions

The authors searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL up to July 2008 for trials of computer-reminder interventions. Trials that only reported resource utilisation outcomes were excluded. The absolute percentage change in adherence to the target behaviour attributable to the reminder was derived for each study. The median improvement for all comparisons was 4.2% (IQR 0.8–18.8%). No specific characteristic of the study or reminder was associated with a significantly larger effect size, although trials based at one particular hospital reported larger effects than all other studies. The influence of reminders is …

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  • Competing interests None.