International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1170–1177 | Cite as

Drug prescribing in patients with renal impairment optimized by a computer-based, semi-automated system

  • Ana Such DíazEmail author
  • Javier Saez de la Fuente
  • Laura Esteva
  • Ana María Alañón Pardo
  • Nélida Barrueco
  • Concepción Esteban
  • Ismael Escobar Rodríguez
Research Article


Background According to several studies, despite of the existence of several published guidelines for dosing adjustments based on renal function, inappropriate prescribing is a common drug-related problem in inpatient care. Objective We developed and implemented a system for drug dosage adjustment integrated into the Hospital computer provider order entry system. This system allows pharmacists to identify patients with reduced renal function, identify medication orders that may require dosage modifications based on renal function, and generate an alert with a recommendation of specific dosage adjustment. Using the Summary of Product Characteristics and two drug databases (Micromedex 2.0® and Lexicomp®), specific dosage guidelines for drugs used in patients with renal impairment were established. Setting A 264-bed tertiary teaching hospital. Methods We performed a quasi-experimental, one-group, pretest–posttest study to assess the efficacy of this intervention program. We compared the differences between the frequency of appropriate orders pre- and post-test using the McNemar test. Main outcome measures: the frequency of appropriate orders before the recommendation (pre-test) and after the recommendation (post-test). Results Before the intervention, the frequency of appropriate prescribing based on renal function was 65 %. After the intervention, this frequency was 86 % (p < 0.001). The interventions were more frequent in the emergency department (45 %). The program required 30–45 min of pharmacist time per day. The average number of patients reviewed daily was 28. This study found that a computer-based, semi-automated drug-dosage program for renal failure patients was able to reduce the number of inappropriate orders due to renal insufficiency.


Computer-assisted drug therapy Decision support systems Medical order entry systems Medication errors Renal insufficiency Spain 



We thank Federico Tutau PharmD PhD, for his help in the initial design of the system. We also thank the hospital informatics department for its contribution to the design and implementation of the program.


This study was supported in part by the research grant ‘Salud, Prevención y Medio Ambiente y Seguros’, from Fundación MAPFRE.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Such Díaz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Javier Saez de la Fuente
    • 1
  • Laura Esteva
    • 2
  • Ana María Alañón Pardo
    • 3
  • Nélida Barrueco
    • 1
  • Concepción Esteban
    • 1
  • Ismael Escobar Rodríguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmacy DepartmentHospital Universitario Infanta LeonorMadridSpain
  2. 2.Pharmacy DepartmentHospital de TorrejónTorrejón de ArdozSpain
  3. 3.Pharmacy DepartmentHospital Universitario Virgen de las NievesGranadaSpain

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