Journal Article

Evaluation of laboratory monitoring alerts within a computerized physician order entry system for medication orders.

Palen TE; Raebel M; Lyons E; Magid DM.

Increased use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems has focused greater attention on integrating effective clinical decision support systems (CDSS) to modify prescribing behavior and reduce errors. This study randomized primary care physicians to receive specific laboratory monitoring alerts for a selected group of medications and compared their practices to a control group that received no CDSS. Investigators found no difference between the two physician groups. They discuss the tension between having too many reminders and effectively delivering important reminders. These findings mirror those of a past review that suggested the impact of CDSS on patient outcomes compared to the impact on care without CDSS remains unclear, with a need for better evaluative strategies.