Doctors can lower the risk for patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with the help of the electronic drug information system "AiDKlinik", which reduces the number of adverse drug interactions and adverse events, a new German study has demonstrated.
The study was conducted by a research team headed by Dr. Thilo Bertsche, director of the cooperation unit for clinical pharmacy at Heidelberg University Hospital and its findings have appeared in the journal "Intensive Care Medicine".
Professor Dr. Walter E. Haefeli, Medical Director of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology at Heidelberg University Hospital, said: "We previously verifiably improved physician's prescriptions with our "AiDKlinik" tool and showed that no new errors were introduced. However, we have now proven that laboratory values and clinical findings are also changed. Not many systems in the world can maintain that they have been able to reduce clinically relevant events due to drug interactions by almost half."
Wrong prescriptions, interactions ignored, contraindications, or restrictions on use are often the cause of avoidable adverse drug effects. The "AiDKlinik" drug information system developed at the hospital helps to reduce such undesired events. While the condition of patients in the ICU frequently requires that they be given certain drugs despite known interactions, the aim is to prevent clinically relevant events that could endanger the patients.
For the study, data from 265 patients in an intensive care unit at Heidelberg University Hospital were analysed. The research included only patients who were given eight or nine drugs simultaneously. On the second day after admission, the prescribed medication was checked using the drug information system. At the next rounds, the physicians responsible for the patient were given a report on potential drug interactions and, if necessary, concrete recommendations to avoid clinical effects.
Using this procedure, the adverse events in connection with drug interactions were reduced by 43 percent. Some of the most critical events, such as changes in the ECG and electrolyte imbalances, which can cause severe arrhythmia, were reduced by 64 percent and 80 percent respectively. Moreover, fewer patients needed additional drugs to treat side effects.
The "AiDKlinik" drug information system was developed in recent years by the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology at Heidelberg University Hospital in collaboration with the hospital pharmacy and Medizinische Medien Informations GmbH (MMI, Neu-Isenburg). (ANI)