Alert fatigue, overrides remain a safety threat

Alert fatigue and overrides continue to plague clinicians and threaten patient safety, according to research published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The researchers analyzed more than 157,000 clinical decision support alerts for more than 2 million medical orders from 1,718 outpatient providers in the Boston area. More than half (52 percent) of the alerts were overridden, however, 53 percent of those alerts were clinically appropriate. The alerts most likely to be overridden were formulary substitutions, age-based recommendations, renal recommendations and patient allergies. The researchers suggested that alerts be refined to improve their relevance and reduce alert fatigue. Study