Carroll AE. Averting Alert Fatigue to Prevent Adverse Drug Reactions. JAMA Forum Archive. Published online July 17, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamahealthforum.2019.0027
Although various electronic health records (EHRs) have different features, nearly all seem to have alerts for potential problems with drug prescribing. It’s one thing that many believe that EHRs do very well. However, a recent study warns that when it comes to opioids and benzodiazepines, we shouldn’t always assume such alerts work as intended.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that prescribing opioids and benzodiazepines together can lead to overdoses. The agency’s 2016 guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain, published in JAMA, recommended against using them together. In spite of this recommendation, almost 1 in 5 opioid users also receives a prescription for a benzodiazepine.
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Aaron E. Carroll, MD, MS Aaron E. Carroll, MD, MS, is Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Health Policy and Outcomes Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. He is also Director of the university's Center for Health Policy and...