Study: Meaningful Use Measures Reduce Adverse Drug Events

August 19, 2014 in News

Florida hospitals that in 2010 adopted all five core measures for medication management under the meaningful use program reported the lowest rates of adverse drug events in the state, according to a new study published in the journal Healthcare, Clinical Innovation Technology reports (Walsh, Clinical Innovation Technology, 8/18).

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Details of Study

The study was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

For the study, researchers examined three data sets:

  • The 2010 Florida State Inpatient Database, which contained information on 2.6 million hospitalizations;
  • The IT supplement of the American Hospital Association’s 2010 annual survey, which included questions on meaningful use adoption; and
  • Medicare’s 2010 Hospital Compare data (Murphy/White, “Health IT Buzz,” 8/15).

Researchers noted that at the time of the study data, fewer than 10% of hospitals had adopted all five medication management measures (Bresnick, EHR Intelligence, 8/18).

Findings

The five medication management guidelines met by the hospitals with the lowest adverse drug events were:

  • Establishing decision support systems to check for drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions;
  • Having the capability to electronically transfer and receive key clinical data with other providers;
  • Maintaining an active medication list;
  • Maintaining an up-to-date medication allergy list; and
  • Using computerized provider order entry systems for medication orders (“Health IT Buzz,” 8/18).

According to the study, Florida hospitals in which physicians supported the adoption of the medication management measures reported a 52% decrease in adverse drug events, compared with a 14% increase in adverse drug events among hospitals where physicians objected to implementing the measures.

Hospitals that cited costs as a main obstacle to their adoption of medication management measures reported 35% fewer drug errors (Clinical Innovation Technology, 8/18).

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