SUMMARY: We conducted a cluster randomized trial testing the effectiveness of an intervention to increase the use of osteoporosis medications in high-risk patients receiving home health care. The trial did not find a significant difference in medication use in the intervention arm. INTRODUCTION: This study aims to test an evidence implementation intervention to improve the quality of care in the home health care setting for patients at high risk for fractures. METHODS: We conducted a cluster randomized trial of a multimodal intervention targeted at home care for high-risk patients (prior fracture or physician-diagnosed osteoporosis) receiving care in a statewide home health agency in Alabama. Offices throughout the state were randomized to receive the intervention or to usual care. The primary outcome was the proportion of high-risk home health patients treated with osteoporosis medications. A t test of difference in proportions was conducted between intervention and control arms and constituted the primary analysis. Secondary analyses included logistic regression estimating the effect of individual patients being treated in an intervention arm office on the likelihood of a patient receiving osteoporosis medications. A follow-on analysis examined the effect of an automated alert built into the electronic medical record that prompted the home health care nurses to deploy the intervention for high-risk patients using a pre-post design. RESULTS: There were 11 offices randomized to each of the treatment and control arms; these offices treated 337 and 330 eligible patients, respectively. Among the offices in the intervention arm, the average proportion of eligible patients receiving osteoporosis medications post-intervention was 19.1 %, compared with 15.7 % in the usual care arm (difference in proportions 3.4 %, 95 % CI, -2.6 to 9.5 %). The overall rates of osteoporosis medication use increased from 14.8 % prior to activation of the automated alert to 17.6 % afterward, a nonsignificant difference. CONCLUSIONS: The home health intervention did not result in a significant improvement in use of osteoporosis medications in high-risk patients.
Alabama, Bone Density Conservation Agents, Delivery of Health Care, Integrated, Drug Utilization, Electronic Health Records, Home Care Services, Humans, Osteoporosis, Osteoporotic Fractures, Quality Improvement, Treatment Outcome