Obesity Management: A Pilot Test of an Electronic Health Record Prompt
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The project objective was to conduct a pilot study to discover primary care providers’ responses to using a newly developed obesity screening and management addition to an electronic health record (EHR). Seven providers at a rural community health center pilot tested a red flag body mass index (BMI) prompt, an obesity template, and a resource list placed in the exam rooms to aid in obesity identification and management. Focus group narrative served as the data. A semi-structured interview obtained information about providers’ responses to the EHR addition as well as their recommendations for improvements. The results of the pilot study showed that the BMI Red Flag prompt helped providers acknowledge the overwhelming number of obese patients in the clinic. The template was found to be a practical component in obesity management. Having a resource list available for patients in the exam rooms was noted to be needed, useful, and time saving. A key recommendation by the providers was to continue discussion in monthly meetings to facilitate better utilization of the template and enhance individualized approaches. The findings demonstrate a successful implementation of an obesity screening and management addition to the EHR in a rural community health center. It is hoped that this pilot study will serve as a model for one way to incorporate obesity screening and management in primary care settings.