Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) often go unreported or are inaccurately documented in the electronic medical recorded (EMR), even when they are severe and life-threatening. Incomplete reporting can lead to future prescribing challenges and ADR reoccurrence. The aim of this study was to evaluate the documentation of ADRs within the EMR and determine specific factors associated with appropriate and timely ADR documentation. Retrospective data were collected from a pediatric hospital system ADR reports from October 2010 to November 2018. Data included implicated medication, type, and severity of reaction, treatment location, the presence or absence of ADR documentation in the EMR alert profile within 24 hours of the ADR hospital or clinic encounter discharge, ADR identification method, and the presence or absence of pharmacovigilance oversight at the facility where the ADR was treated. A linear regression model was applied to identify factors contributing to optimal ADR documentation. A total of 3065 ADRs requiring medical care were identified. Of these, 961 ADRs (31%) did not have appropriate documentation added to the EMR alert profile prior to discharge. ADRs were documented in the EMR 87% of the time with the presence of pharmacovigilance oversight and only 61% without prospective pharmacovigilance (P < .01). Severity of ADR was not a predictor of ADR documentation in the EMR, yet the implicated medication and location of treatment did impact reporting. An active pharmacovigilance service significantly improved pediatric ADR documentation. Further work is needed to assure timely, accurate ADR documentation.
Keywords: drug-related side effects and adverse reactions; electronic health record; patient safety; pediatrics; pharmacovigilance.
© 2020, The American College of Clinical Pharmacology.