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BACKGROUND - Often unrecognized by providers, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) diminish patients' quality of life, cause preventable admissions and emergency department visits, and increase health care costs.
OBJECTIVE - This article evaluates whether an automated system, the Adverse Drug Effect Recognizer (ADER), could assist clinicians in detecting and addressing inpatients' ongoing preadmission ADRs.
METHODS - ADER uses natural language processing to extract patients' medications, findings, and past diagnoses from admission notes. It compares excerpted information to a database of known medication adverse effects and promptly warns clinicians about potential ongoing ADRs and potential confounders via alerts placed in patients' electronic health records (EHRs). A 3-month intervention trial evaluated ADER's impact on antihypertensive medication ordering behaviors. At the time of patient admission, ADER warned providers on the Internal Medicine wards of Vanderbilt University Hospital about potential ongoing preadmission antihypertensive medication ADRs. A retrospective control group, comprised similar physicians from a period prior to the intervention, received no alerts. The evaluation compared ordering behaviors for each group to determine if preadmission medications changed during hospitalization or at discharge. The study also analyzed intervention group participants' survey responses and user comments.
RESULTS - ADER identified potential preadmission ADRs for 30% of both groups. Compared with controls, intervention providers more often withheld or discontinued suspected ADR-causing medications during the inpatient stay ( < 0.001). Intervention providers who responded to alert-related surveys held or discontinued suspected ADR-causing medications more often at discharge ( < 0.001).
CONCLUSION - Results indicate that ADER helped physicians recognize ADRs and reduced ordering of suspected ADR-causing medications. In hospitals using EHRs, ADER-like systems could improve clinicians' recognition and elimination of ongoing ADRs.
Schattauer GmbH Stuttgart.