Effects of an adverse-drug-event alert system on cost and quality outcomes in community hospitals.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Computerized monitoring and alerts for adverse drug events (ADEs) are strategies adopted by hospitals to prevent medication errors. This retrospective observational study evaluated the impact of an ADE alert system in seven community hospitals; two network hospitals that did not implement the system served as controls. Investigators found that adoption of the ADE alert system led to significant decreases in pharmacy department costs, variable drug costs, and severity-adjusted mortality rates in the post-implementation period. In contrast, pharmacy department costs and drug costs increased significantly in the two network hospitals without an alert system over the same time period. The authors suggest that their findings support the potential benefits of an ADE alert system in the community hospital setting.