Study: Clinicians using electronic prescribing systems often override drug interaction alerts

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

February 25, 2009

Although using electronic prescribing with decision support is thought to offer clinicians some guidance when prescribing medications, many users often ignore the drug interaction alerts. A study from the Archives of Internal Medicine that followed 2,872 users of an e-prescribing system over a nine month period shows that of the e-prescriptions that generated alerts, clincians accepted only 9.2% of alerts generated by the possibility of a drug interaction, and 23% of alerts generated by a possible allergic reaction.

Researchers are not sure why e-prescribers choose not to use the support offered to them, or find any variance among clinician specialties and their rates of accepting alerts. They did conclude that the current alert system is not adequate to protect patients' safety.

To read the abstract, click here.