Appropriateness of commercially available and partially customized medication dosing alerts among pediatric patients

Jeremy Stultz, Milap C. Nahata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate dosing alert appropriateness, categorize orders with alerts, and compare the appropriateness of alerts due to customized and noncustomized dose ranges at a pediatric hospital. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of medication orders causing dosing alerts. Orders for outpatient prescriptions, patients ≥18 years of age, and research protocols were excluded. Patient medical records were reviewed and ordered doses compared with a widely used pediatric reference (Lexi-Comp) and institutional recommendations. The alerted orders were categorized and the occurrence of appropriate alerts was compared. Results: There were 47 181 inpatient orders during the studied period; 1935 orders caused 3774 dosing alerts for 369 medications in 573 patients (median age 6.1 years). All alerted orders had an alert overridden by the prescriber. The majority (86.2%) of alerted orders inappropriately caused alerts; 58.0% were justifiable doses and 28.2% were within Lexi-Comp. However, 13.8% of alerted orders appropriately caused alerts; 8.0% were incorrect doses and 5.8% had no dosing recommendations available. Appropriately alerted orders occurred in 19.7% of alerted orders due to customized ranges compared to 12.8% due to non-customized ranges (p=0.002). Preterm and term neonates, infants, and children (2-5 years) had higher proportions of inappropriate alerts compared to appropriate alerts (all p<0.01). Conclusions: The vast majority of dosing alerts were presented to practitioners inappropriately, potentially contributing to alert fatigue. Appropriate alerts occurred more often when alerts were due to customized ranges. Advances in dosing alerts should aim to provide accurate and clinically relevant alerts that minimize excessive inappropriate alerting. Medications requiring dosing adjustments based on clinical parameters must be taken into account when designing and evaluating dosing alerts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Volume21
Issue numberE2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 12 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Pediatrics
Pediatric Hospitals
Medical Records
Fatigue
Prescriptions
Inpatients
Outpatients
Newborn Infant
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics

Cite this

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title = "Appropriateness of commercially available and partially customized medication dosing alerts among pediatric patients",
abstract = "Objectives: To evaluate dosing alert appropriateness, categorize orders with alerts, and compare the appropriateness of alerts due to customized and noncustomized dose ranges at a pediatric hospital. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of medication orders causing dosing alerts. Orders for outpatient prescriptions, patients ≥18 years of age, and research protocols were excluded. Patient medical records were reviewed and ordered doses compared with a widely used pediatric reference (Lexi-Comp) and institutional recommendations. The alerted orders were categorized and the occurrence of appropriate alerts was compared. Results: There were 47 181 inpatient orders during the studied period; 1935 orders caused 3774 dosing alerts for 369 medications in 573 patients (median age 6.1 years). All alerted orders had an alert overridden by the prescriber. The majority (86.2{\%}) of alerted orders inappropriately caused alerts; 58.0{\%} were justifiable doses and 28.2{\%} were within Lexi-Comp. However, 13.8{\%} of alerted orders appropriately caused alerts; 8.0{\%} were incorrect doses and 5.8{\%} had no dosing recommendations available. Appropriately alerted orders occurred in 19.7{\%} of alerted orders due to customized ranges compared to 12.8{\%} due to non-customized ranges (p=0.002). Preterm and term neonates, infants, and children (2-5 years) had higher proportions of inappropriate alerts compared to appropriate alerts (all p<0.01). Conclusions: The vast majority of dosing alerts were presented to practitioners inappropriately, potentially contributing to alert fatigue. Appropriate alerts occurred more often when alerts were due to customized ranges. Advances in dosing alerts should aim to provide accurate and clinically relevant alerts that minimize excessive inappropriate alerting. Medications requiring dosing adjustments based on clinical parameters must be taken into account when designing and evaluating dosing alerts.",
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AB - Objectives: To evaluate dosing alert appropriateness, categorize orders with alerts, and compare the appropriateness of alerts due to customized and noncustomized dose ranges at a pediatric hospital. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of medication orders causing dosing alerts. Orders for outpatient prescriptions, patients ≥18 years of age, and research protocols were excluded. Patient medical records were reviewed and ordered doses compared with a widely used pediatric reference (Lexi-Comp) and institutional recommendations. The alerted orders were categorized and the occurrence of appropriate alerts was compared. Results: There were 47 181 inpatient orders during the studied period; 1935 orders caused 3774 dosing alerts for 369 medications in 573 patients (median age 6.1 years). All alerted orders had an alert overridden by the prescriber. The majority (86.2%) of alerted orders inappropriately caused alerts; 58.0% were justifiable doses and 28.2% were within Lexi-Comp. However, 13.8% of alerted orders appropriately caused alerts; 8.0% were incorrect doses and 5.8% had no dosing recommendations available. Appropriately alerted orders occurred in 19.7% of alerted orders due to customized ranges compared to 12.8% due to non-customized ranges (p=0.002). Preterm and term neonates, infants, and children (2-5 years) had higher proportions of inappropriate alerts compared to appropriate alerts (all p<0.01). Conclusions: The vast majority of dosing alerts were presented to practitioners inappropriately, potentially contributing to alert fatigue. Appropriate alerts occurred more often when alerts were due to customized ranges. Advances in dosing alerts should aim to provide accurate and clinically relevant alerts that minimize excessive inappropriate alerting. Medications requiring dosing adjustments based on clinical parameters must be taken into account when designing and evaluating dosing alerts.

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