Different Sides of the Story

  • Allison B. McCoy
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


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


  1. 1.
    Van der Sijs H, Aarts J, Vulto A, Berg M. Overriding of drug safety alerts in computerized physician order entry. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2006;13:138-147.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Miller RA, Waitman LR, Chen S, Rosenbloom ST. The anatomy of decision support during inpatient care provider order entry (CPOE): empirical observations from a decade of CPOE experience at Vanderbilt. J Biomed Inform. 2005;38(6):469-485.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison B. McCoy
    • 1
  1. 1.Eskind Biomedical Library, Department of Biomedical InformaticsVanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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