Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Computerized Alerts Can Influence Drug Prescribing

Thanks to Epocrates for pointing me to these 2 interesting abstracts on computer-based decision support:
  • The first one (published in the J Am Geriatr Soc.) is titled, "Computerized decision support to reduce potentially inappropriate prescribing to older emergency department patients: a randomized, controlled trial." The authors found that "Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) with decision support significantly reduced prescribing of potentially inappropriate medications for seniors."
  • The second one (published in the J Gen Intern Med.) is, "Reducing the prescribing of heavily marketed medications: a randomized controlled trial." The authors found that "Computerized decision support is an effective tool to reduce the prescribing of heavily marketed hypnotic medications in ambulatory care settings."
In the future, we will be bombarded with automated drug safety alerts since almost every drug will have major safety warnings and potential drug-drug interactions. These alerts will be especially important when we're treating older adults who are often taking multiple medications. Do you use CPOE? If you don't right now, you can plan on using it within the next few years. Hospitals will become so digital that we'll see more computers than paper everywhere.

Here are the links for the abstracts:

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