Effect of an electronic medical record nudge to improve quality improvement program tracking of neuraxial catheter replacements in obstetric patients. BMJ open quality Fedoruk, K., Xie, J., Wang, E., Fowler, C., Riley, E., Carvalho, B. 2023; 12 (4)


Monitoring complications associated with medical procedures requires reliable and accurate record keeping. Nudge reminders executed by way of electronic medical record (EMR) alerts influence clinician behaviour. We hypothesised that the introduction of an EMR nudge would improve documentation of replaced neuraxial blocks by obstetric anaesthesiologists at our institution.We developed an EMR nudge that would alert the physician to a replaced neuraxial block if two or more neuraxial procedure notes in a single patient encounter were detected. The nudge encouraged physicians to document neuraxial block replacements in our institution's quality improvement database. We assessed the rate of physician adherence to replaced neuraxial block charting prior to the introduction of the nudge (January 2019-September 2019) and after the implementation (October 2019-December 2020).494 encounters during the chart review period, January 2019-December 2020, required a neuraxial block replacement, representing an actual neuraxial replacement rate of 6.3% prior to the introduction of the nudge in October 2019. This rate was largely unchanged (6.2%) after the introduction of the nudge (0.1% difference, 95%?CI: -0.0119 to 0.0099). Prior to the introduction of the nudge, the proportion of correctly charted failed/replaced blocks in our quality improvement database was 80.0%, and after nudge introduction, the rate was 96.2% (p value <0.00001, OR=6.32, 95%?CI: 3.15 to 12.66). A p-chart of the monthly adherence rate demonstrated sustained improvement over time.EMR nudge technology significantly improved adherence with quality metric monitoring of neuraxial catheter replacement in obstetric patients. The results imply that data collection for quality metric databases of neuraxial block failures and replacements that rely on clinician memory without a nudge are likely under-reporting neuraxial block failures and replacements. This study supports widespread implementation of nudges in EMRs to improve quality metric reporting.

View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjoq-2022-002240

View details for PubMedID 37903567