Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2011 Jul;37(7):326-32.
Adopting real-time surveillance dashboards as a component of an enterprisewide medication safety strategy.
Waitman LR, Phillips IE, McCoy AB, Danciu I, Halpenny RM, Nelsen CL, Johnson DC, Starmer JM, Peterson JF.
Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
High-alert medications are frequently responsible for adverse drug events and present significant hazards to inpatients, despite technical improvements in the way they are ordered, dispensed, and administered.
A real-time surveillance application was designed and implemented to enable pharmacy review of high-alert medication orders to complement existing computerized provider order entry and integrated clinical decision support systems in a tertiary care hospital. The surveillance tool integrated real-time data from multiple clinical systems and applied logical criteria to highlight potentially high-risk scenarios. Use of the surveillance system for adult inpatients was analyzed for warfarin, heparin and enoxaparin, and aminoglycoside antibiotics.
Among 28,929 hospitalizations during the study period, patients eligible to appear on a dashboard included 2224 exposed to warfarin, 8383 to heparin or enoxaparin, and 893 to aminoglycosides. Clinical pharmacists reviewed the warfarin and aminoglycoside dashboards during 100% of the days in the study period-and the heparinlenoxaparin dashboard during 71% of the days. Displayed alert conditions ranged from common events, such as 55% of patients receiving aminoglycosides were missing a baseline creatinine, to rare events, such as 0.1% of patients exposed to heparin were given a bolus greater than 10,000 units. On the basis of interpharmacist communication and electronic medical record notes recorded within the dashboards, interventions to prevent further patient harm were frequent.
Even in an environment with sophisticated computerized provider order entry and clinical decision support systems, real-time pharmacy surveillance of high-alert medications provides an important platform for intercepting medication errors and optimizing therapy.