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Journal of Clinical Lipidology
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 546 - 560

Effect of health information technology interventions on lipid management in clinical practice: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Karen E. Aspry, Roy Furman, Dean G. Karalis, Terry A. Jacobson, Audrey M. Zhang, Gregory S. Liptak and Jerome D. Cohen    



Large gaps in lipid treatment and medication adherence persist in high-risk outpatients in the United States. Health information technology (HIT) is being applied to close quality gaps in chronic illness care, but its utility for lipid management has not been widely studied.


To perform a qualitative review of the impact of HIT interventions on lipid management processes of care (screening or testing; drug initiation, titration or adherence; or referrals) or clinical outcomes (percent at low density lipoprotein cholesterol goal; absolute lipid levels; absolute risk scores; or cardiac hospitalizations) in outpatients with coronary heart disease or at increased risk.


PubMed and Google Scholar databases were searched using Medical Subject Headings related to clinical informatics and cholesterol or lipid management. English language articles that described a randomized controlled design, tested at least one HIT tool in high risk outpatients, and reported at least 1 lipid management process measure or clinical outcome, were included.


Thirty-four studies that enrolled 87,874 persons were identified. Study ratings, outcomes, and magnitude of effects varied widely. Twenty-three trials reported a significant positive effect from a HIT tool on lipid management, but only 14 showed evidence that HIT interventions improve clinical outcomes. There was mixed evidence that provider-level computerized decision support improves outcomes. There was more evidence in support of patient-level tools that provide connectivity to the healthcare system, as well as system-level interventions that involve database monitoring and outreach by centralized care teams.


Randomized controlled trials show wide variability in the effects of HIT on lipid management outcomes. Evidence suggests that multilevel HIT approaches that target not only providers but include patients and systems approaches will be needed to improve lipid treatment, adherence and quality.

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