If an electronic prescribing system pops up a medication safety alert but no doctor heeds it, does it ever sound the alarm?
That question appears more salient than ever, as research continues to show that the clinical decision support systems intended to protect patients from medication errors prove in some ways to be more of a hindrance than a help to doctors.
The latest example is a study of the electronic prescribing records of nearly 2,900 community physicians and other prescribers in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Nearly 230,000 times these doctors were warned about potential drug interactions, and 90% of the time they decided to proceed as if the alert had never appeared.
The whole shebang.