Background: Adverse drug events (ADEs) are common among hospitalized patients with renal impairment.
Objective: To determine whether computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems with clinical decision support capabilities reduce the frequency of renally related ADEs in hospitals.
Design, setting, and patients: Quasi-experimental study of 1590 adult patients with renal impairment who were admitted to 5 community hospitals in Massachusetts from January 2005 to September 2010, preimplementation and postimplementation of CPOE.
Intervention: Varying levels of clinical decision support, ranging from basic CPOE only (sites 4 and 5), rudimentary clinical decision support (sites 1 and 2), and advanced clinical decision support (site 3).
Measurements: Primary outcome was the rate of preventable ADEs from nephrotoxic and/or renally cleared medications. Similarly, secondary outcomes were the rates of overall ADEs and potential ADEs.
Key results: There was a 45% decrease in the rate of preventable ADEs following implementation (8.0/100 vs 4.4/100 admissions; P < 0.01), and the impact was related to the level of decision support. Basic CPOE was not associated with any significant benefit (4.6/100 vs 4.3/100 admissions; P = 0.87). There was a nonsignificant decrease in preventable ADEs with rudimentary clinical decision support (9.1/100 vs 6.4/100 admissions; P = 0.22). However, substantial reduction was seen with advanced clinical decision support (12.4/100 vs 0/100 admissions; P = 0.01). Despite these benefits, a significant increase in potential ADEs was found for all systems (55.5/100 vs 136.8/100 admissions; P < 0.01).
Conclusion: Vendor-developed CPOE with advanced clinical decision support can reduce the occurrence of preventable ADEs but may be associated with an increase in potential ADEs.
© 2013 Society of Hospital Medicine.