Communications interventions to reduce off-guideline prescribing


Evidence-based prescribing guidelines can help health care practitioners provide high-quality clinical care, but research has found that off-guideline prescribing occurs frequently for many drugs. Reducing off-guideline prescribing is one strategy to promote better health outcomes for patients while cutting the costs of unnecessary care. Communications interventions aimed at reducing off-guideline prescribing serve to improve clinical decision-making and limit these risks with minimal burden on providers. These interventions apply findings from the behavioral sciences to call providers’ attention to clinical practice guidelines established by federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Defense, and Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as relevant action steps and the provider’s own off-guideline prescribing behavior.


Since 2014, OES has collaborated with The Center for Program Integrity (CPI) at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Defense Health Agency (DHA) in the Department of Defense (DOD) to develop, implement, and test communications interventions to improve prescriber decision-making.