AltertSpace to improve pharmaceutical errors from alert fatigue

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2015 | Medication Errors

As more electronic health record platforms and health IT systems have been implemented, physicians have received more and more alert notifications. This has resulted in health care providers ignoring some alerts, which has had a negative impact on patient safety. Medical providers and patients in New Mexico might be relieved to hear about a new solution to this problem called AlertSpace.

Certain negative drug interactions or allergies are often provided via alert notifications, so ignoring them can put the health of those patients at risk. According to a system IT pharmacist at Hospital Sisters Health System, alert fatigue is a big risk at any facility. Override rates can reach 96 percent, which means that only 4 percent are addressed. Once case involved an 88 percent override ride rate and a 12 percent address rate that resulted in an action to prevent a pharmaceutical error.

AlertSpace is an efficiency model for providers who have their own EHR platforms, allowing them to make one modification in one spot, says the system IT pharmacist. The web-based system also lets them customize alerts, remove inconsequential alerts and improve the specificity of alerts. It allows physicians to access all documentation about specific alerts and their severity.

In the aforementioned case of a 12 percent address rate, AlertSpace increased the number of addressed alert notifications to around 17 percent. This meant that physicians prevented about 200 more medication errors, which is a great step for patient safety.

Prescription drug errors could have life-threatening consequences for some patients. When those patients suffer medically and financially as a result, they could have cases for medical malpractice if the errors were because of negligence. They might consult with lawyers about the possible remedies.


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