Quality of drug interaction alerts in prescribing and dispensing software

Sweidan, Michelle, Reeve, James F., Brien, Jo-anne E., Jayasuriya, Pradeep, Martin, Jennifer H. and Vernon, Graeme M. (2009) Quality of drug interaction alerts in prescribing and dispensing software. Medical Journal of Australia, 190 5: 251-254.

Author Sweidan, Michelle
Reeve, James F.
Brien, Jo-anne E.
Jayasuriya, Pradeep
Martin, Jennifer H.
Vernon, Graeme M.
Title Quality of drug interaction alerts in prescribing and dispensing software
Journal name Medical Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-729X
Publication date 2009-03
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 190
Issue 5
Start page 251
End page 254
Total pages 4
Place of publication Strawberry Hills, NSW, Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
111711 Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance)
920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
Formatted abstract
Objective: To investigate the quality of drug interaction decision support in selected prescribing and dispensing software systems, and to compare this information with that found in a range of reference sources.

Design and setting: A comparative study, conducted between June 2006 and February 2007, of the support provided for making decisions about 20 major and 20 minor drug interactions in six prescribing and three dispensing software systems used in primary care in Australia. Five electronic reference sources were evaluated for comparison.

Main outcome measures: Sensitivity, specificity and quality of information; for major interactions: whether information on clinical effects, timeframe and pharmacological mechanism was included, whether management advice was helpful, and succinctness.

Results: Six of the nine software systems had a sensitivity rate >= 90%, detecting most of the major interactions. Only 3/9 systems had a specificity rate of >= 80%, with other systems providing inappropriate or unhelpful alerts for many minor interactions. Only 2/9 systems provided adequate information about clinical effects for more than half the major drug interactions, and 1/9 provided useful management advice for more than half of these. The reference sources had high sensitivity and in general provided more comprehensive clinical information than the software systems.

Conclusions: Drug interaction decision support in commonly used prescribing and dispensing software has significant shortcomings.
Keyword Questionnaire survey
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
UQ Diamantina Institute Publications
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 08:15:42 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of UQ Diamantina Institute