Evaluation of medication dose alerts in pediatric inpatients

Corinna Scharnweber, Brandyn D. Lau, Nicole Mollenkopf, David R. Thiemann, Michael A. Veltri, Christoph U. Lehmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: This study evaluates the impact of 12,093 consecutive dose alerts generated by a computerized provider order entry system on pediatric medication ordering. Patients and methods: All medication orders entered and all resulting medication dose alerts at the Johns Hopkins Children's Medical and Surgical Center in 2010, were retrospectively evaluated. Inclusion criteria were hospitalized patients less than 21 years old. There were no exclusion criteria. Results: During 2010, there were 7738 admissions for 5553 unique patients. A total of 182,308 medication orders for 1092 unique medications were submitted by providers. Six percent (11,155) of orders or order attempts generated alerts for 2046 patients and 524 medications. Two categories of alerts were analyzed: dose range alerts and informational alerts. 73.4% (8187) of all alerts were dose range alerts, with a compliance rate of 8.5% (694); 26.6% (2968) were informational alerts, with a compliance rate of 5.5% (163). Conclusions: We found that underdosing alerts provide less value to providers than overdosing alerts. However, the low compliance with the alerts should trigger the evaluation of clinical practice behavior and the existing alert thresholds. Informational alerts noting the absence of established dosing guidelines had little effect on provider behavior and should be avoided when building a dose range alert system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-683
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Computer software
  • Drug safety
  • Medication errors
  • Provider order entry
  • Provider participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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