Project 3. Examining Human Factors Principles in the Design and Implementation of Medication-Related Decision Support Alerts

S Phansalkar speaking about Project 3

Medication-related decisions, such as formulary guidance, assistance in drug selection, dosing suggestions, checking for drug interactions and drug-allergies, and therapeutic duplications form a large part of the tasks performed by a provider during prescribing. These decisions can be guided by employing medication-related decision support (MDS) at the point of care. Despite these potential benefits high rates of override exist for MDS. The occurences of providers ignoring alerts, even clinically significant ones, has been termed “alert fatigue”. While human factors principles play a crucial role in the design of safety alerts in other domains, their incorporation in clinical information systems is lagging far behind.

The specific aims of this project are to:
Specific Aim 1. Validate the human factors instrument on vendor and in-house MDS systems and determine how a “good” score which indicates a system that generates alerts that comply with human factors principles correlates with override rates
Specific Aim 2. Determine whether employing human factors principles can have an impact on physician behavior in terms of the rates of overriding alerts.
Specific Aim 3. Evaluate user-related outcomes for systems that comply with human factors principles.

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