By Raj Gopalan, MD, MSIS, Vice President of Innovation and Clinical Informatics, Wolters KluwerWhen a viral outbreak threatens or claims hundreds of lives, it dominates the news cycle. Yet a more destructive, persistent, and deadly threat receives much less attention medical errors.Comparable to the recurring impact of an ongoing public health disaster, medical errors defined as unintended acts, execution errors, and care planning mistakes cause the deaths of nearly 550 people daily. In fact, research published in the British Medical Journal Medication named medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the U.S.Adverse drug events (ADEs) or injuries resulting from taking a medication are one of the three most common and harmful categories of medical errors. Each year in the U.S. there are approximately two million ADEs that cause a staggering 100,000 deaths and increase healthcare costs by about $136 billion.While industry awareness of the problem has existed for some time, efforts to reduce preventable medication errors have met their share of challenges. For instance, clinical decision support (CDS) and alerting mechanisms introduced with EHRs are designed to reduce the potential for ADEs by providing clinicians with potentially relevant warning information at the point-of-care. However, in many cases the benefits clinicians receive from these systems have been compromised because they generate too many alerts and cause alert fatigue a psychological phenomenon that arises when clinicians are exposed too frequently, to too many alerts that are not relevant to their patient care issues. Once alert fatigue sets in, the effectiveness of warning information declines because a clinician is more inclined to override alerts without serious consideration.

Source: Click here

Share this article

Facebook Comments