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HealthMay 05, 2022

Global clinicians want more precision in medication screening tools

Today’s patients are presenting with ever-increasing degrees of complexity in their comorbidities and medication regimens. Global clinical leaders say a key component to patient safety is medication safety screening, but many feel their current solution isn’t sophisticated enough to meet their health system’s demands.

According to a recent Medi-Span survey of more than 300 clinical leaders across 39 countries, 95% of respondents felt a medication safety screening solution would be useful. Despite this, only 44% of those surveyed currently have a solution integrated with their electronic medical record (EMR) system*.

Medication decision support can help clinicians reduce prescribing, dispensing, and medication administration errors. But with nearly half of clinicians lacking the appropriate data and tools, and many of those that have solutions in place describing them as only adequate or satisfactory, it is clear that clinicians and healthcare IT leaders are craving more maturity from medication decision support systems and greater precision from EMR-integrated patient safety screening.

Reducing medication errors through precision screening

As many as one in 10 hospitalizations in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries may be caused by a medication–related event and as many one in five inpatients experience medication–related harms during hospitalization.

Medication decision support solutions can help mitigate those events by providing alerts and supporting content to inform clinician decisions at key moments in the patient care process. Accordingly, among the top benefits of a medication screening solution, survey respondents listed:

  • Alerts and reminders within the workflow
  • Reducing drug interactions and adverse events
  • Preventing dosing errors
  • Providing guidance of severity
  • Preventing compatibility errors

While the healthcare professionals surveyed rated their satisfaction with their current medication safety screening solution when using basic patient data (such as age, weight, or gender) at a 6.4 out of 10, that number dipped to 4.9 when respondents were asked to consider how well their solution uses more advanced patient data. Many noted that one of their biggest causes of frustration with their solution was the lack of personalized, precision screening that took into account additional patient factors such as:

What do clinicians look for in their tools?

Patient safety was the primary reason clinicians surveyed — whether from Mexico, South America, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, or Australia — offered for why they valued medication screening tools. The top three most valuable benefits of medication screening cited by respondents were:

  1. Improved patient safety and quality of care
  2. Information within workflow to improve decision making
  3. Time-saving and workflow efficiency

When asked to rate how important certain factors were in selecting the right medication screening solution, respondents selected their top criteria and scored them on a scale of 0-5:

  • Content quality: 4.6
  • Workflow optimization (or alerts appearing at the right place, right time): 4.03
  • Patient-centric alerts: 4.01
  • Frequency of content updates: 3.6
  • Granularity of drug information: 3.4
  • Visionary vendor: 2.87

Are you ready for the next generation of healthcare IT?

Medication screening solutions are evolving and maturing to adapt to the needs of modern healthcare.

  • A first-generation solution allows for basic screening, but it does not connect to patient data for personalized alerts, nor does it provide alerts at key moments within the workflow.
  • A second-generation solution will add in minimal patient data and moderate drug information granularity to increase precision.
  • With a more developed third-generation solution, you see more sophisticated data allowing for greater alert precision and efficiency of feedback.
  • It isn’t until the fourth generation of development that medication decision support delivers more advanced and granular drug and patient data, the latest available evidence, efficient just-in-time alerting, and analytic insights to optimize impact.

Of the clinicians surveyed who had already implemented medication screening, the largest percentage — 44% — were comfortable that they were using an advanced third-generation solution. Only 8% reported that they had a fully developed fourth-generation medication decision support solution.

Even so, 21% said that they were still using a first-generation solution. Without the decision support clinicians need at the time, place, and level of sophistication they are seeking, many health systems find that the challenges of reducing errors and lessening demands on the workforce are exacerbated.

Taking the steps to upgrade a health system’s medication decision support system and workflow integration can have a lasting positive effect on clinician experience and on resulting care quality and outcomes.

See how one teaching hospital helped reduce medication errors and relieved pressure on staff with Medi-Span® Clinical APIs medication decision support.

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* Data on file.
Information for healthcare professionals only.
Medi-Span® Clinical APIs is a CE-marked medical device. Before use, please carefully read the warnings and instructions for use. In Europe, Medi-Span Clinical APIs are currently only available in Belgium and in Italy.

Medi-Span Around the World
Embedded drug data and clinical screening modules to support appropriate medication prescribing
Organizations use Medi-Span® drug data and clinical screening modules to support appropriate medication decisions, and to help reduce prescribing errors by optimizing alert systems.
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