Using Electronic Health Records and Clinical Decision Support to Provide Return-to-Work Guidance for Primary Care Practitioners for Patients With Low Back Pain

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The aim of this study was to describe the process by which a group of subject matter experts in the area of return to work developed a resource tool to provide clinical decision support (CDS) for primary care clinicians.


A common musculoskeletal disorder, low back pain (LBP), was selected, pertinent literature reviewed, and specific recommendations for action in the clinical setting developed.


Primary care practitioners (PCPs) are routinely expected to create work activity prescriptions. The knowledge base for a CDS tool that could be embedded in electronic health records has been developed.


Improved clinical support should help prevent and manage work limitations associated with LBP not caused by work. The proposed decision support should reduce administrative burden and stimulate PCPs to explore the role of occupation and its demands on patients.

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