Background: Widespread application of research findings to improve patient outcomes remains inadequate, and failure to routinely translate research findings into daily clinical practice is a major barrier for the implementation of any evidence-based guideline. Strategies to increase guideline uptake in primary care pediatric practices and to facilitate adherence to recommendations are required.
Objective: Our objective was to operationalize the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents into a mobile clinical decision support (CDS) system for healthcare providers, and to describe the process development and outcomes.
Methods: To overcome the difficulty of translating clinical practice guidelines into a computable form that can be used by a CDS system, we used a multilayer framework to convert the evidence synthesis into executable knowledge. We used an iterative process of design, testing, and revision through each step in the translation of the guidelines for use in a CDS tool to support the development of 4 validated modules: an integrated risk assessment; a blood pressure calculator; a body mass index calculator; and a lipid management instrument.
Results: The iterative revision process identified several opportunities to improve the CDS tool. Operationalizing the integrated guideline identified numerous areas in which the guideline was vague or incorrect and required more explicit operationalization. Iterative revisions led to workable solutions to problems and understanding of the limitations of the tool.
Conclusions: The process and experiences described provide a model for other mobile CDS systems that translate written clinical practice guidelines into actionable, real-time clinical recommendations.