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Journal Article > Study
Clinically inconsequential alerts: the characteristics of opioid drug alerts and their utility in preventing adverse drug events in the emergency department.
Genco EK, Forster JE, Flaten H, et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2016;67:240-248.e3.
The concept of "number needed to treat" is used to quantify the number of patients who would need to undergo therapy to prevent one adverse clinical outcome. This study of opioid prescribing in an academic emergency department found that prescribers had to view more than 123 unnecessary alerts to prevent one adverse drug event. Studies such as this help quantify the number needed to treat for computerized warnings, a critical step forward in understanding and mitigating alert fatigue.
Journal Article > Commentary
Lifflander AL. JAMA. 2019;321:837-838.
Implementing new information systems can have unintended consequences on processes. This commentary explores insights from a physician, both as a clinician and as the family member of a patient, regarding the impact of hard stops in electronic health records intended to prevent gaps in data entry prior to task progression. The author raises awareness of the potential for patient harm due to interruptions and diminishing student and clinician skill in asking questions to build effective patient histories.