E-alerts can help relieve drug shortages, save money

Sipkoff, Martin
August 2004
Drug Topics;8/23/2004, Vol. 148 Issue 16, pHSE10
Trade Publication
Drug shortages plaguing United States' hospitals have increased significantly. One solution was found at the 324-bed Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Finding traditional methods of response--such as posted notices--inadequate, hospital pharmacists used an unconventional solution to cope with a continuing shortage of methylprednisone, a commonly prescribed asthma medication. They issued a browser-based clinical information system alert to physicians and nurses every time a prescription for the medication was ordered, warning clinicians that there was a critical shortage and offering a recommendation for two therapeutically equivalent drugs, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone.


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