Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Evaluation of Harm Associated with High Dose-Range Clinical Decision Support Overrides in the Intensive Care Unit

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sarah SlightORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


© 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Introduction: Medication-related clinical decision support (CDS) alerts have been shown to be effective at reducing adverse drug events (ADEs). However, these alerts are frequently overridden, with limited data linking these overrides to harm. Dose-range checking alerts are a type of CDS alert that could have a significant impact on morbidity and mortality, especially in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting. Methods: We performed a single-center, prospective, observational study of adult ICUs from September 2016 to April 2017. Targeted overridden alerts were triggered when doses greater than or equal to 5% over the maximum dose were prescribed. The primary outcome was the appropriateness of the override, determined by two independent reviewers, using pre-specified criteria formulated by a multidisciplinary group. Overrides which resulted in medication administration were then evaluated for ADEs by chart review. Results: The override rate of high dose-range alerts in the ICU was 93.0% (total n = 1525) during the study period. A total of 1418 overridden alerts from 755 unique patients were evaluated for appropriateness (appropriateness rate 88.8%). The most common medication associated with high dose-range alerts was insulin regular infusion (n = 262, 18.5%). The rates of ADEs for the appropriately and inappropriately overridden alerts per 100 overridden alerts were 1.3 and 5.0, respectively (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Overriding high dose-range CDS alerts was found to be common and often appropriate, suggesting that more intelligent dose checking is needed. Some alerts were clearly inappropriately presented to the provider. Inappropriate overrides were associated with an increased risk of ADEs, compared to appropriately overridden alerts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wong A, Rehr C, Seger DL, Amato MG, Beeler PE, Slight SP, Wright A, Bates DW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Drug Safety

Year: 2019

Volume: 42

Issue: 4

Pages: 573-579

Print publication date: 01/04/2019

Online publication date: 01/12/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN (print): 0114-5916

ISSN (electronic): 1179-1942

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


DOI: 10.1007/s40264-018-0756-x


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric