Harnessing the Electronic Health Record to Actively Support Providers with Guideline-Directed Telemetry Use.

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Publication Date


Publication Title

Appl Clin Inform


washington; seattle; swedish; Academic Medical Centers; Documentation; Electronic Health Records; Humans; Monitoring, Physiologic; Telemetry; United States


BACKGROUND: Overuse of cardiac telemetry monitoring (telemetry) can lead to alarm fatigue, discomfort for patients, and unnecessary medical costs. Currently there are evidence-based recommendations describing appropriate telemetry use, but many providers are unaware of these guidelines.

OBJECTIVES: At our multihospital health system, our goal was to support providers in ordering telemetry on acute care in accordance with evidence-based guidelines and discontinuing telemetry when it was no longer medically indicated.

METHODS: We implemented a multipronged electronic health record (EHR) intervention at two academic medical centers, including: (1) an order set requiring providers to choose an indication for telemetry with a recommended duration based on American Heart Association guidelines; (2) an EHR-generated reminder page to the primary provider recommending telemetry discontinuation once the guideline-recommended duration for telemetry is exceeded; and (3) documentation of telemetry interpretation by telemetry technicians in the notes section of the EHR. To determine the impact of the intervention, we compared number of telemetry orders actively discontinued prior to discharge and telemetry duration 1 year pre- to 1 year post-intervention on acute care medicine services. We evaluated sustainability at years 2 and 3.

RESULTS: Implementation of the EHR initiative resulted in a statistically significant increase in active discontinuation of telemetry orders prior to discharge: 15% (63.4-78.7%) at one site and 13% at the other (64.1-77.4%) with greater improvements on resident teams. Fewer acute care medicine telemetry orders were placed on medicine services across the system (1,503-1,305) despite an increase in admissions and the average duration of telemetry decreased at both sites (62 to 47 hours,

CONCLUSION: Our study showed that a low-cost, multipart, EHR-based intervention with active provider engagement and no additional education can decrease telemetry usage on acute care medicine services.


Biomedical Ethics