Using an electronic medical record (EMR)-based dashboard, this study explored osteoporosis care gaps in primary care. Eighty-four physicians shared their practice activities related to bone mineral density testing, 10-year fracture risk calculation and treatment for those at high risk. Significant gaps in fracture risk calculation and osteoporosis management were identified.
To identify care gaps in osteoporosis management focusing on Canadian clinical practice guidelines (CPG) related to bone mineral density (BMD) testing, 10-year fracture risk calculation and treatment for those at high risk.
The ADVANTAGE OP EMR tool consists of an interactive algorithm to facilitate assessment and management of fracture risk using CPG. The FRAX® and Canadian Association of Radiologists and Osteoporosis Canada (CAROC) tools were embedded to facilitate 10-year fracture risk calculation. Physicians managed patients as clinically indicated but with EMR reminders of guideline recommendations; participants shared practice level data on management activities after 18-month use of the tool.
Eighty-four physicians (54%) of 154 who agreed to participate in this study shared their aggregate practice activities. Across all practices, there were 171,310 adult patients, 40 years of age and older, of whom 17,214 (10%) were at elevated risk for fracture. Sixty-two percent of patients potentially at elevated risk for fractures did not have BMD testing completed; most common reasons for this were intention to order BMD later (48%), physician belief that BMD was not required (15%) and patient refusal (20%). For patients with BMD completed, fracture risk was calculated in 29%; 19% were at high risk, of whom 37% were not treated with osteoporosis medications as recommended by CPG.
Despite access to CPG and fracture risk calculators through the ADVANTAGE OP EMR tool, significant gaps remain in fracture risk calculation and osteoporosis management. Additional strategies are needed to address this clinical inertia among family physicians.