Purpose: Medication-related clinical decision support (CDS) has been identiﬁed as a method to improve patient outcomes but is historically frequently overridden and may be inappropriately so. Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are at a higher risk of harm from adverse drug events (ADEs) and these overrides may increase patient harm. The objective of this study is to determine appropriateness of overridden medication-related CDS overrides in the ICU.
Materials and methods: We evaluated overridden medication-related alerts of four alert categories from January 2009 to December 2011. The primary outcome was the appropriateness of a random sample of overrides based on predetermined criteria. Secondary outcomes included the incidence of adverse drug events (ADEs) that re-sulted from the overridden alert.
Results: A total of 47,449 overridden alerts were included for evaluation. The appropriateness rate for overridden alerts varied by alert category (allergy: 94%, drug-drug interaction: 84%, geriatric: 57%, renal: 27%). A total of seven actual ADEs were identiﬁed in the random sample and where the medication(s) was administered (n = 366), with an increased risk of ADEs associated with inappropriately overridden alerts (p = 0.0078). Conclusions: The appropriateness of medication-related clinical decision support overrides in the ICU varied sub-stantially by the type of alert. Inappropriately overridden alerts were associated with an increased risk of ADEs compared to appropriately overridden alerts.