Drug-drug interaction checking assisted by clinical decision support: a return on investment analysis

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The existence of Electronic Health Record (EHR) in the present generation brings us a lot of wonderful features where one of them is Drug-drug Interaction (DDI) Checking. DDIs are set to check and alert users on possible interactions based on orders/entries placed to help prevent possible complications. It is a very common functionality that is part of the Meaningful Use Requirements and available for almost all EHRs.


The authors of this study aimed “to determine the number of DDI alerts, time saved, and time invested after suppressing clinically irrelevant alerts and adding clinical-decision support to relevant alerts”. This will help eliminate unnecessary alerts and keep/implement relevant ones. [1]


A multidisciplinary panel evaluated clinical relevance on most frequently occurring DDIs. Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) was utilized by the pharmacists during their evaluation process. Only CDSS-assisted DDI checking exist in phase 1, then kept in phase 2 but suppressed clinically irrelevant DDIs. Conventional DDI Checking was compared to the results from Pharmacists’ CDSS-assisted DDI checking. [1]


The study revealed that “CDSS-assisted DDI checking resulted in a 55% reduction of the number of alerts and a 45% reduction in time spent on DDIs checking, yielding a return on investment of almost 10 years.” It showed significant benefits and favorable towards the use of CDSS. [1]


The authors did a great job on methods used and it turned out that using CDSS-assisted DDI is better than using the tradition ones. Once again, investment is needed at the beginning but it showed a promising return on investments and possibly minimizing alert fatigues and ensuring only relevant DDIs are in placed. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Helmons, Pieter, et.al. Drug-drug interaction checking assisted by clinical decision support: a return on investment analysis. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Assoc. 2014. http://jamia.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/02/09/jamia.ocu010/