Study highlights tragedy of avoidable adverse drug reactions

Following the publication of a study into the frequency of Adverse Drug Reactions, First DataBank has spoken out at the tragedy of these avoidable and sometimes fatal errors. The study by PLos One entitled "Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospital In - Patients: A Prospective Analysis of 3695 Patient-Episodes" was covered this week by the BBC and highlighted that "one in seven hospital patients experience adverse drug reactions, half of which are completely avoidable". The study identifies electronic prescribing as one of the possible intervention strategies in the reduction of adverse drug reactions.

David Flavell, President at First DataBank International comments, "The real tragedy of this study is that injury and death caused by adverse drug reactions, doesn't have to happen. There are electronic prescribing systems (with integrated clinical decision support) available which are able to prevent medication errors. Such systems are demonstrating real benefits in the hospitals where they have already been introduced."

"These systems support clinicians in their decision making by flagging up potential adverse drug reactions. At the point that a clinician prescribes a medication to a patient, the clinical decision support checks the medication against information held in the patient's Electronic Health Record and generates an on-screen alert message if there are potential clinical problems."

Mr Flavell concludes, "Paper-based systems are no longer an acceptable means of recording and cross checking patient records against potential interactions. We strongly urge more hospitals to consider transferring from paper-based systems, which can be subject to error, to reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions and improve patient safety."

About First DataBank Europe
First DataBank Europe (FDBE) is the UK's leading provider of drug knowledge bases and active clinical decision support. With over 25 years' experience of maintaining, developing and integrating drug knowledge bases across the entire healthcare spectrum, FDBE has unrivalled expertise and knowledge in this specialist field. NHS Connecting for Health has chosen FDBE to provide drug-related clinical decision support.

Patient safety is the driving force behind our business. Through the effective integration of our products into clinical systems, we enable safer prescribing, dispensing and administration.

Our Multilex Drug Data File - the UK's most comprehensive and widely used drug knowledge base - is in daily use by thousands of healthcare professionals in the UK.

For further information visit www.firstdatabank.co.uk.

BBC News: Hospital drug reactions 'common'

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