Transforming Health Care Through Information: Case Studies

Part of the series Health Informatics pp 83-84


Different Sides of the Story

  • Allison B. McCoyAffiliated withEskind Biomedical Library, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

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Providing effective decision support to physicians in care provider order entry (CPOE) systems is a recurring challenge for informatics staff. Reminders or alerts displayed to providers easily convey knowledge to assist with patient encounters, often reducing errors in patient care.1,2 However, studies show that providers may develop “alert fatigue” and ignore the alerts and reminders displayed in computer systems. A high rate of nonserious, irrelevant, and repeated alerts most often contributes to alert fatigue among providers.1 The ability to appropriately alert providers, at the right time, with the correct type of support, and at an appropriate level of intrusiveness, is critical in the reduction of alert fatigue and ultimately in the success of decision support systems in improving quality and safety of patient care.2