Patient and physician predictors of appropriate statin prescription

Opportunity

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Statins are effective medications for reducing the risk of cardiovascular events. However, nearly 50 percent of patients who meet evidence-based guidelines for statins have never been prescribed one. While studies have evaluated patient factors associated with statin prescription patterns, few have also incorporated physician factors.

Approach

We used data from the electronic health record to identify patients at Penn Medicine primary care practices who met evidence-based guidelines for statin therapy. We then designed prediction models to identify patient and physician factors associated with statin prescription.

Impact

We found that both patient and physician factors significantly predicted hyperlipidemia screening and statin prescription. We also found that gaps in care were significant, with nearly 30 percent of eligible patients not being screening and almost 50 percent of patients who met guidelines for statin therapy not yet being prescribed the medication.