OBJECTIVES: Drug–drug interactions (DDIs) can result in patient harm. DDI alerts are intended to help prevent harm; when the majority of alerts presented to providers are being overridden, their value is diminished. Our objective was to evaluate the overall rates of DDI alert overrides and how rates varied by specialty, clinician type, and patient complexity.
METHODS: A retrospective study of DDI alert overrides that occurred during 2012 and 2013 within the inpatient setting described at the medication-, hospital-, provider-, and patient encounter–specific levels was performed at an urban, quaternary-care, pediatric hospital.
RESULTS: There were >41 000 DDI alerts presented to clinicians; ∼90% were overridden. The 5 DDI pairs that were most frequently presented and overridden included the following: potassium chloride–spironolactone, methadone–ondansetron, ketorolac–ibuprofen, cyclosporine–fluconazole, and potassium chloride–enalapril, each with an alert override rate of ≥0.89. Override rates across provider groups ranged between 0.84 and 0.97. In general, patients with high complexity had a higher frequency of alert overrides, but the rates of alert overrides for each DDI pairing did not differ significantly.
CONCLUSIONS: High rates of DDI alert overrides occur across medications, provider groups, and patient encounters. Methods to decrease DDI alerts which are likely to be overridden exist, but it is also clear that more robust and intelligent tools are needed. Characteristics exist at the medication, hospital, provider, and patient levels that can be used to help specialize and enhance information transmission.
- Copyright © 2018 by the American Academy of Pediatrics