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Alerts, Clinical decision support systems, Electronic health records, Flu vaccine



  1. Cieslowski, Bethany DNP, MA, RN
  2. Brock, Laurie MSN, BSN, RN
  3. Richesson, Rachel L. PhD, MPH
  4. Silva, Susan PhD
  5. Kim, Hyeoneui PhD, MPH, RN


Clinical decision support interventions, such as alerts and reminders, can improve clinician compliance with practice guidelines and patient outcomes. Alerts that trigger at inappropriate times are often dismissed by clinicians, reducing desired actions rather than increasing them. A set of nursing-specific alerts related to influenza screening and vaccination were optimized so that they would "trigger" less often but function adequately to maintain institutional flu vaccination compliance. We analyzed the current triggering criteria for six flu vaccine-related alerts and asked nurse end users for suggestions to increase specificity. Using the "five rights" (of clinical decision support) as a framework, alerts were redesigned to address user needs. New alerts were tested and implemented and their activity compared in two different flu seasons, preoptimization and postoptimization. The redesigned alerts resulted in fewer alerts per encounter (P < .0001), less dismissals of alerts (P < .0001), and a 2.8% point improvement in compliance rates for flu vaccine screening, documentation, and administration. A focus group confirmed that the redesign improved workflow, but some nurses thought they still triggered too often. The five rights model can support improvements in alert design and outcomes.