Guidelines recommend individualized treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), avoidance of clinical inertia, and specific therapeutic choices for patients at risk for cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, or chronic kidney disease. However, a gap exists in translating these guidelines into practice.

We created an electronic medical record (EMR) tool to improve evidence-based treatment intensification for T2D and studied its implementation in endocrinology and primary care (PC). The tool included a best practice alert (BPA) informing providers at an office visit of an A1C ≥ 8% and prompted providers, within the tool, to make therapeutic choices based upon five priority care goals- cardiovascular risk reduction, A1c lowering, low hypoglycemia risk, cost, or weight loss.

After a 3-month pilot at one site, the tool was implemented using a stepped-wedge approach from March-November 2019 to all PC (N=52) and endocrinology (N=17) sites in our health system with 1903 eligible patient visits by November 2019. Within endocrinology, provider tool usage ranged from 94% of visits at the pilot site to 34% after full rollout; in PC, usage ranged from 52% during the pilot to just above 5%. Usage varied by practice site (range <1- 44%) and by provider (0 - 100%). Providers expressed interest in tool utility but reported the timing of the BPA, during a busy office visit, as a barrier to use. Of note, the BPA was deferred up to 20% of the time in PC citing patient nonadherence to current therapy.

Uptake of a point of care EMR tool to promote treatment intensification for T2D in endocrinology and PC demonstrated variation at the specialty, practice site, and provider levels. Our findings also suggest that, given time pressures, provider focused point of care EMR-based interventions to improve T2D care may need to be supplemented with tools asynchronous to the office visit and should address patient factors in adherence. Further analyses will focus on tool effects on A1c control.


A.D. Misra-Hebert: Research Support; Self; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Novo Nordisk Inc. K.M. Pantalone: Consultant; Self; Bayer Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk Inc., Sanofi. Research Support; Self; Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk Inc. Speaker’s Bureau; Self; AstraZeneca, Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk Inc. S. Rajpathak: Employee; Self; Menarini Group. T. Weiss: Employee; Self; Merck & Co., Inc. M. Hamaty: Research Support; Self; Merck & Co., Inc. R.S. Zimmerman: Research Support; Self; Bayer U.S., Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk A/S. Speaker’s Bureau; Self; LifeScan, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc. Stock/Shareholder; Self; Baxter, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer Inc., Procter & Gamble Company.

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