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Reducing alert fatigue

Memphis, Tennessee, February 13, 2019

James Hoffman, PharmD

James Hoffman, PharmD

St. Jude is helping improve electronic health record systems. These systems produce alerts when medicines might not work well together. These alerts are not always right. This forces clinicians to override the alert.

 A constant stream of unneeded warnings leaves clinicians at risk for alert fatigue where they pay less attention to the warnings. St. Jude researchers evaluated alerts and found ways to safely reduce alert overrides by 40 percent.

This research presents an approach that other health care leaders can use to evaluate their own electronic health records systems.

 “Customization to each local setting is key,” said James Hoffman, PharmD, St. Jude chief patient safety officer. “We provided a framework that other hospitals can adapt for their needs.”  

A report on this work appeared in Pediatrics.

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