Current management of dizziness in the ED often leads to expensive, time consuming, and unnecessary tests, but not appropriate evidence-based and guideline concordant evaluation & management. The Dix-Hallpike Test (DHT) and Canalith Repositioning Maneuver (CRM) are used to diagnose and treat Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV processes have an evidence base that is at the clinical practice guideline level. The DHT is the gold standard test for DHT and the CRM is supported by numerous randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. Gaze stabilization exercises are also evidence-based treatment for unilateral vestibulopathy.
The problem is that evidence based processes of care for dizziness visits are frequently underutilized.
An ED- level stepped wedge randomized clinical trial with an embedded patient- level randomized controlled dissemination strategy will be used to increase the use of evidence based care using a theory-based education intervention within a large integrated health care system.
The trial will begin with an initial no intervention period followed by a randomized staggered intervention at the 14 EDs in 11 waves (some medical centers will be paired based on the medical service area). The physician-based intervention consists of a recorded continuing medical education (CME) session, a mobile responsive website with the recommended algorithm of care, print materials (posters and note cards) and a dot phrase for dizziness. We will evaluate documentation of the DHT and CRM in approximately 80,000 dizziness visits.
Concurrently, eligible patients with a dizziness-related emergency department visit will be identified from the electronic medical records (EMR) system before and after the physician level intervention is implemented at each ED. Enrolled subjects will be randomized individually to the intervention or control arm using central computerized randomization. The patient-based intervention includes patient-oriented materials focused on evidence based care incorporated into a patient-specific website. We plan to have 800 patients for the analysis.
The primary outcome for the ED-level implementation strategy is DHT or CRM documentation. The primary outcome measure for the patient-level intervention is the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI).
The overall potential public health impact of improved ED dizziness care is substantial based on the volume of visits, underuse of effective management, and inefficiencies from overuse of typically unnecessary tests.
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