The Columbia Registry of Controlled Clinical Computer Trials.

E. A. Balas, J. A. Mitchell, K. Bopp, G. D. Brown, B. T. Ewigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Numerous reports on randomized controlled clinical trials of computer-based interventions have been published. These trials provide useful evaluations of the impact of information technology on patient care. Unfortunately, several obstacles make access to the trial reports difficult. Barriers include the large variety of publications in which reports may appear, non-standard descriptors, and incomplete indexing. Some analyzers indicate inadequate testing of computer methods. The purpose of establishing a registry of randomized controlled clinical computer trials was to assist the identification of computer services with demonstrated ability to improve the process or outcome of patient care. A report collection, selection, information extraction, and registration method was developed and implemented. One hundred and six reports on computer trials have been collected. A large variety of computer-assisted interventions have been tested in the registered trials (40% reminder, 15% feedback, 14% dose planning, 14% patient education, 12% medical record). 76% of the registered reports were published in the United States and most of the remainder in various European countries. In reporting computer trial results, 77% of the authors did not use both the "computer" and "trial" keywords in the title or abstract of their papers. We conclude that a major obstacle to adequate computer technology assessment is inadequate access to the published results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-224
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings / the ... Annual Symposium on Computer Application [sic] in Medical Care. Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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