Between January 2020 to August 2021, fifty percent of patients referred from Geisinger's primary care sites to Neurology for headaches did not trial appropriate first line therapy prior to referral, and there was limited access available at Geisinger's Neurology department. This project was initiated to improve patient experience, management of headache, and provider experience as it relates to headache management. Geisinger's Neurology department, pharmacy department, and Community Medicine Service Line (CMSL) sites have collaborated to develop a Headache CarePath (i.e., a best practice alert containing: an EPIC headache assessment, Express Lane for prescriptions, and Ask-a-doc button for Neurology consult) and piloted at 2 CMSL sites (Woodbine, Selinsgrove) to gain some initial feedback. The feedback has been incorporated into best practice alert (BPA) language and criteria. The project team now plans to implement this CarePath to half of CMSL sites first while the other half of CMSL sites will continue to practice the standard of care as of today. The team will evaluate the impact of this CarePath on patient outcomes [change in Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6) scores, change in the frequency of headaches, and change in pain intensity], emergency department (ED) visits, number of referrals to Neurology for headache, and prescribing of headache medications by comparing the measures in clinics that had the CarePath implemented to those that did not. Patient outcomes will be collected by Geisinger's Survey Core, which will reach out telephonically to patients to ask about the status of their headaches (HIT-6, frequency, intensity of headaches, M-TOQ-5). Other measures will be collected and analyzed using secondary data sources such as electronic health record (EHR) data. The initial implementation is planned for 6-9 months. The findings from this evaluation will help the CarePath team identify any remaining opportunities or guide the direction of its future enhancements of the CarePath tools. The results of this evaluation will be shared with the Geisinger leadership to demonstrate its value to the organization.
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