Automatic detection of adverse drug events in the geriatric care
Background. Adverse drug events are observed in approximatively one third of elderly people in hospitals. The medications most at risk include anti-thrombotic drugs, which are widely used in geriatrics to prevent thrombosis. Tools that help detecting medication-related problems already exist in hospitals but are not well developed and could be improved to better identify factors likely to trigger adverse drug events.
Aims. This objective of the study is to optimise tools able to automatically detect undesired effects of medication based on information available in the patient’s electronic files. The objective is to quantify the number of haemorrhages and thromboses associated with prescription of anti-thrombotics, identify the triggering factors and propose improvements for clinical practice.
Description. The project is being conducted by an interdisciplinary team at five hospitals in German and French-speaking Switzerland. First, the list of anti-thrombotic drugs will be established along with their side effects, risk and confounding factors in order to develop detection tools. Second, clinical and biological information available in the form of free text and structured data will be extracted from the electronic medical files of elderly patients. Third, software algorithms will be developed allowing this information to be understood and processed in order to identify adverse events and their triggering factors. Finally, the validity of these algorithms and detection tools will be verified.
Significance. The project will allow the introduction of measures aiming at improving safety when prescribing anti-thrombotic medication. The findings will be implemented in clinical practice by means of indicators of adverse events for risk management, and training for healthcare professionals; the tools and methodologies developed will be disseminated for new research in this field.