KHN: Clinicians Ignore EHR Alerts 49-96% of the Time

Alert fatigue is widely recognized as a significant hazard in the healthcare setting.  Patient monitoring equipment and numerous other devices are equipped with alarms to alert healthcare providers to values that fall outside of set parameters.

Electronic health records (EHRs) are increasingly utilizing similar systems to prompt providers with pop-up alerts, particularly when prescribing medication. In a recent Kaiser Health News article, Shobha Phansalkar, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, noted that clinicians ignore alerts between 49 and 96 percent of the time. The full article that explores alert fatigue and potential consequences can be found here.

Efforts are underway by companies who create these systems to design and implement health IT systems that produce more targeted and relevant alerts to decrease alert fatigue, while still providing beneficial warnings.  MLMIC recognizes the importance of alert systems and encourages our insureds to be cognizant of how they impact patient care.