OBJECTIVE: Patient decision aids (DA) facilitate shared decision making, but implementation remains a challenge. This study tested the feasibility of integrating a cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention DA into general practice software.
METHODS: We developed a desktop computer application (app) to auto-populate a CVD prevention DA from general practice medical records. 4 practices received monthly practice reports from July-Nov 2021, and 2 practices use the app with limited engagement. CVD risk assessment data and app use were monitored.
RESULTS: The proportion of eligible patients with complete CVD risk assessment data ranged from 59 to 94%. Monthly app use ranged from 0 to 285 sessions by 13 individual practice staff including GPs and nurses, with staff using the app an average of 67 sessions during the study period. High users in the 5-month study period continued to use the app for 10 months. Low use was attributed to reduced staff capacity during COVID-19 and technical issues.
CONCLUSION: High users sustained interest in the app, but additional strategies are required for low users. The study will inform implementation plans for new guidelines.
INNOVATION: This study showed it is feasible to integrate patient decision aids with Australian general practice software, despite the challenges of COVID-19 at the time of the study.