Improving Medication Alerts in Electronic Medical Records

An electronic medical record example
An example of an electronic medical record. Researchers have identified nine factors that influence prescribers as they encounter alerts in these types of systems. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The way health care providers respond to medication alerts generated by electronic medical record systems was the subject of a recent study conducted by Regenstrief Institute and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Too many alerts and overly detailed alerts are a common source of frustration across electronic medical record systems. Unless we improve medication alerts so they contain information that users need to make decisions, the problem of alert fatigue will grow as EMR systems expand beyond single hospitals and share more data.”

—Alissa Russ, Ph.D., Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-Based Practice, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center

The researchers will use the study’s findings to help make medication alerts more effective. Specifically, they hope to help eliminate “alert fatigue,” which is when health providers unintentionally ignore such systems.

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© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.


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