Osteoporosis guideline implementation in family medicine using electronic medical records: Survey of learning needs and barriers

Janet Pritchard*, Sarah Karampatos, George Ioannidis, Jonathan Adachi, Lehana Thabane, Lynn Nash, Upe Mehan, Joseph Kozak, Sid Feldman, Steve Hirsch, Algis V. Jovaisas, Angela Cheung, Lynne Lohfeld, Alexandra Papaioannou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To identify family physicians' learning needs related to osteoporosis care; determine family physicians' preferred modes of learning; and identify barriers to using electronic medical records (EMRs) to implement osteoporosis guidelines in practice. Design Web-based survey. Setting Ontario. Participants Family physicians. Main outcome measures Quantitative and qualitative data about learning needs related to osteoporosis diagnosis and management; preferred mode of learning about guidelines; and barriers to using EMRs to implement guidelines. Results Of the 12 332 family physicians invited to participate in the survey, 8.5% and 7.0% provided partial or fully completed surveys, respectively. More than 80% of respondents agreed that the priority areas for education were as follows: selecting laboratory tests for secondary osteoporosis and interpreting the test results; interpreting bone mineral density results; determining appropriate circumstances for ordering anterior-posterior lumbar spine x-ray scans; and understanding duration, types, and adverse effects of pharmacotherapy. Qualitative analysis revealed that managing moderate-risk patients was a learning need. Continuing medical education was the preferred mode of learning. Approximately 80% of respondents agreed that the scarcity of EMR tools to aid in guideline implementation was a barrier to using guidelines, and 50% of respondents agreed that if EMR-embedded tools were available, time would limit their ability to use them. Conclusion This survey identified key diagnostic- and treatmentrelated topics in osteoporosis care that should be the focus of future continuing professional development for family physicians. Developers of EMR tools, physicians, and researchers aiming to implement guidelines to improve osteoporosis care should consider the potential barriers indicated in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e326-e333
JournalCanadian Family Physician
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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