Current Drug-Interaction systems cause significant alert fatigue
Current Drug-Interaction systems are limited in scope and alert the Clinician about potential problems only during the prescription process, often via long and difficult-to-comprehend textual messages. Moreover, they tend to alert the Clinician with too many irrelevant warnings that aren’t specific to the patient. Understanding and interpreting the information in such systems is complicated and confusing. Due to this, alert fatigue is commonplace and it results in Clinicians ignoring alerts altogether. Studies have shown that over 90% of physicians do not utilize current available solutions for assessment of DRPs.
Alert fatigue is a result of multiple limitations of current systems:
- Difficult to comprehend language: This causes Clinician to spend excessive time assessing DRPs. Current alert solutions often present this information in several explanatory paragraphs. Since the human brain can typically comprehend less than one such explanatory paragraph for immediate recall purposes, Clinicians mostly skim through these warnings or completely ignore them. Alerts are not properly read and the information at hand is not acted upon.
- Insufficient attention to patient specific factors: There are many types of interactions that can cause DRPs. Current solutions lack proper focus on individual pharmacokinetic and metabolic aspects of DRPs. They rarely make use of patient specific factors, such as genetic profile, herbal medicines & diet, smoking, kidney and liver function, lab results, etc..
- Over-alerting: It is well acknowledged that Clinicians ignore the vast majority of alerts generated by current solutions. This may result in missing an important alert which may have a negative impact on patients’ health.
Potential problems are shown at the end of the patient encounter: In current solutions, the information on potential DRPs is shown only at the end of the patient visit, when the physician opens the prescribing module. However, such information may often be important for understanding a patient’s current illness/differential diagnosis and, if visible in the patients’ record throughout the encounter, could save a substantial amount of time and effort.