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CDA 11-214 – HSR Study

CDA 11-214
Improving Medication Safety through Human Factors and Informatics Research
Alissa Lynn Russ, PhD
Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis, IN
Funding Period: May 2013 - July 2017
Over 1 million preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) occur each year in the U.S. To reduce the risk of harm to Veterans, the VA's electronic health record includes automated medication alerts, such as drug-allergy alerts, to warn prescribers about potential problems. Compelling evidence, however, indicates that VA information technologies and those of other healthcare systems do not provide sufficient information to assist prescribers as they make decisions about medications.

We hypothesize that health information technologies can be improved to enhance decision-making and medication management. The research objective of this CDA-2 is to integrate methods from human factors and health services research to understand the cognitive processes involved in prescribing and identify strategies to enhance VA information technologies for decision-making, medication management, and patient safety.

In Aim 1, we captured medication safety incidents and conducted cognitive task analyses via critical decision method interviews to identify the cognitive strategies and information cues that prescribers use when they encounter medication incidents. Interview data were analyzed via inductive qualitative analysis. In Aim 2, we conducted a usability assessment of VA's Secure Messaging Medication Reconciliation Tool (SMMRT) in a simulated setting to improve software usability and enhance medication management processes for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and patients. We assessed efficiency, usability errors, and satisfaction. We also measured the extent to which SMMRT helped participants detect medication errors.

Not yet available.

This research provided foundational knowledge on how prescribers identify and address medication safety incidents. This is also one of the first studies to evaluate the usability of a collaborative medication reconciliation tool for healthcare professionals and patients. Findings can be used to improve VA information technologies for prescribing and medication management. Additionally, results could inform pharmacy or medical education programs. Findings can ultimately be used to improve medication safety for our nation's Veterans.

External Links for this Project

NIH Reporter

Grant Number: IK2HX000856-01A1

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None at this time.

DRA: Health Systems
DRE: Prevention, Technology Development and Assessment
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms: none

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