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Luri M, Gastaminza G, Idoate A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:630-636.
Clinical decision support systems can alert prescribers to potential interactions between the drug being ordered and other drugs or drug allergies. Earlier studies have shown high rates of overrides of drug allergy alerts. This study analyzed allergic adverse drug events that occurred because of overridden drug allergy alerts (ODAA). Less than 10% of ODAA were inappropriate and resulted in only mild adverse events.
Blythe R, Parsons R, White NM, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2022;31:725-734.
Early recognition of clinical deterioration in patients is often difficult to detect and often results in poor patient outcomes. This scoping review focused on the delivery and response to deterioration alerts and their impact on patient outcomes. Only four out of 18 studies included in the review reported statistically significant improvements in at least two patient outcomes, Authors suggest that workflow and integration of the early warning system model’s features into the decision-making process may be helpful.
Hindmarsh J, Holden K. Int J Med Inform. 2022;163:104777.
Computerized provider order entry has become standard practice for most medication ordering. This article reports on the safety and efficiency of ordering mixed-drug infusions before and after implementation of electronic prescribing. After implementation, rates of prescription errors, time to process discharge orders, and time between prescription and administration all decreased.
Van De Sijpe G, Quintens C, Walgraeve K, et al. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2022;22:48.
Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) can help identify potential drug-drug interactions (DDI), but they can lead to alert fatigue and threaten patient safety. Based on an analysis of DDI alerts and survey data regarding physician experience using the DDI module in the CDSS, researchers identified barriers (i.e., lack of patient-specific characteristics and DDI-specific screening intervals) that contribute to false-positive alerts and alert fatigue.

Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; February 17, 2022.

Pre-hospital emergency care can be vulnerable to timing, information, and task failures that compromise safety. This investigation explores how computerized decision support system access played a roles in an emergency call-center program incident where erroneous information was transmitted to a pregnant patient that contributed to infant harm.
Berntsson K, Eliasson M, Beckman L. BMC Nurs. 2022;21:24.
Safe and accurate telephone triage is of critical importance, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Swedish study evaluated district nurses’ experiences and perceptions of patient safety at a national nurse advice triage call center. Interviews with nurses resulted in an overall theme of “being able to make the right decision” based on the categories of “communication” and “assessment.”
Slikkerveer M, van de Plas A, Driessen JHM, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e587-e592.
Anticoagulants, such as low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH), are known to be high-risk for adverse drug events. This cross-sectional study identified prescribing errors – primarily lack of dosage adjustment for body weight and/or renal function – among one-third of LMWH users admitted to one hospital over a five-month period.
Koeck JA, Young NJ, Kontny U, et al. Pediatric Drugs. 2021;23:223-240.
Pediatric patients are at risk for medication prescribing errors due to weight-based dosing. This review analyzed 70 interventions aimed at reducing weight-based prescribing errors. Findings indicate that bundled interventions are most effective, and that interventions should include substitute or engineering controls (e.g., computerized provider order entry) along with administrative controls (e.g., expert consultation).
Cattaneo D, Pasina L, Maggioni AP, et al. Drugs Aging. 2021;38:341-346.
Older adults are at increased risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infections. This study examined the potential severe drug-drug interactions (DDI) among hospitalized older adults taking two or more medications at admission and discharge. There was a significant increase in prescription of proton pump inhibitors and heparins from admission to discharge. Clinical decision support systems should be used to assess potential DDI with particular attention paid to the risk of bleeding complications linked to heparin-based DDIs.
Vasey B, Ursprung S, Beddoe B, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4:e211276.
This study explored the role of machine-learning based clinical decision support (CDS) algorithms to support (rather than replace) human decision-making and the impact on diagnostic performance. This systematic review of 37 studies found limited evidence that the use of machine learning-based CDS systems contributes to improved diagnostic performance among clinicians. Interobserver agreement, user feedback, and clinician override were the most commonly reported outcomes. The authors emphasize the importance of further evaluation of human-computer interaction.
Kostopoulou O, Tracey C, Delaney BC. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2021;28:1461-1467.
In addition to being used for patient-specific clinical purposes, data within the electronic health record (EHR) may be used for other purposes including epidemiological research. Researchers in the UK developed and tested a clinical decision support system (CDSS) to evaluate changes in the types and number of observations that primary care physicians entered into the EHR during simulated patient encounters. Physicians documented more clinical observations using the CDSS compared to the standard electronic health record. The increase in documented clinical observations has the potential to improve validity of research developed from EHR data.
Friebe MP, LeGrand JR, Shepherd BE, et al. Appl Clin Inform. 2020;11:865-872.
The prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications, particularly among older adults, is an ongoing quality and safety concern. Among adults 65 years and older, this study found that clinical decision support integrated with a new electronic health record system significantly reduced potentially inappropriate medications.   
Delvaux N, Piessens V, Burghgraeve TD, et al. Implement Sci. 2020;15:100.
Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) have the potential to improve patient safety. This randomized trial evaluated the impact of integrating CDSS into CPOE among general practitioners in Belgium. The intervention improved appropriateness and decreased volume of laboratory test ordering and did not show any increases in diagnostic errors.
Rieckert A, Reeves D, Altiner A, et al. BMJ. 2020;369:m1822.
This study evaluated the impact of an electronic decision support tool comprising a comprehensive drug review to support deprescribing and reduce polypharmacy in elderly adults. Results indicate that the tool did reduce the number of prescribed drugs but did not significantly reduce unplanned hospital admissions or death after 24 months.
Kuitunen SK, Niittynen I, Airaksinen M, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e1669-e1680.
The objective of this systematic review was to identify systemic defenses (such as barcode scanning) to confirm drug and patient identity, clinical decision systems, and smart infusion pumps) to prevent in-hospital intravenous (IV) medication errors. Of the 46 included studies, most discussed systemic defenses related to drug administration; fewer discussed defenses during prescribing, preparation, treatment monitoring and dispensing. Closed loop medication management and smart pumps were the most common systemic defenses examined in the included studies; the authors identify a need for further studies exploring the effectiveness of different combinations of systemic defenses.
Staines A, Amalberti R, Berwick DM, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzaa050.
The authors of this editorial propose a five-step strategy for patient safety and quality improvement staff to leverage their skills to support patients, staff, and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes (1) strengthening the system and environment, (2) supporting patient, family and community engagement and empowerment, (3) improving clinical care through separation of workflows and development of clinical decision support, (4) reducing harm by proactively managing risk for patients with and without COVID-19, and (5) enhancing and expanding the learning system to develop resilience.
Rogero-Blanco E, Lopez-Rodriguez JA, Sanz-Cuesta T, et al. JMIR Med Inform. 2020;8.
Older patients are vulnerable to adverse drug events due to comorbidities and polypharmacy. This cross-sectional study from Spain reviewed prescriptions for 593 older adults aged 65-75 years with multiple comorbidities and documented polypharmacy to estimate the prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing using the STOPP and Beers Criteria. Potentially inappropriate prescribing was detected in over half of patients. The most frequently detected inappropriate prescriptions were for prolonged use of benzodiazepines (36% of patients) and prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors (45% of patients). Multiple risk factors associated with potentially inappropriate prescribing were identified, including polypharmacy and use of central nervous system drugs.
Farnborough, UK: Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; 2019.
Design flaws and improper use of technologies that transfer medication and prescription information between provider environments is a known threat to patient safety. This report analyzes an anticoagulant overdose incident and found that information technology missteps contributed to the error.
Whitaker P. New Statesman. August 2, 2019;148:38-43.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced computing technologies can enhance clinical decision-making. Exploring the strengths and weaknesses of artificial intelligence, this news article cautions against the wide deployment of AI until robust evaluation and implementation strategies are in place to enhance system reliability. A recent PSNet perspective discussed emerging safety issues in the use of artificial intelligence.