Consulting on Software for Improved Drug Prescription
An aspiring US start-up providing healthcare organizations and patients with mobile and desktop solutions for care coordination, HIE and patient engagement.
The Customer needed a solution to detect contradictions between prescribed medications and patients’ conditions in order to reduce medical errors caused by inappropriate treatment. At the first stage of the project, the Customer turned to ScienceSoft for creating a detailed requirements specification.
The mission behind the app is to define whether a prescribed medicine contradicts a patient’s current health status and may possibly harm him or her. It is especially important for accurate chronic condition management.
Thus, to support both patients and their physicians, our team of Business Analysts came up with two versions of the solution: a mobile patient app, and an EMR-integrated desktop application for doctors. While both solutions perform the same task of checking whether the wording on the medication label contains contraindications to the patient’s diseases and conditions, they interact with the end user (patient or physician) differently.
Mobile patient app
To offer patients access to information on all the available medications, the app uploads data from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (DailyMed). To keep medication content and labeling found on medication package inserts up-to-date, the app synchronizes with the DailyMed database monthly.
The app would allow a patient to:
- Add conditions / diseases by tapping on the “Conditions” button, and choosing an appropriate title from the list via search prompts that are enabled upon typing in at least 2 characters.
- Add medications prescribed by a physician via the “Medications” button, also choosing a medication from the list via search prompts that are enabled upon typing in at least 4 characters.
- A patient can also view the medication package inserts if needed.
- Automatically compare a condition title to the medication prescribed and find out if there are any contraindications by tapping on the “Check” button.
The app can find the condition title within medication package inserts in one or several sections from the following list:
- Boxed warning section
- Warnings and precautions
- General precautions
In this case, a patient will see either a yellow or red alert. A red alert appears if a condition title exactly matches the term in the contraindications part of the medication package inserts. For example, when “dementia-related psychosis” is both a patient’s diagnosis and a contraindication of their medication. If a patient’s condition title closely but not exactly matches a contraindication, it triggers a yellow alert. For example, in case the inserts contain “psychosis” among contraindications while the condition title is entered as “dementia-related psychosis”.
An EMR-integrated desktop application supports physicians’ decision-making by working in the background and only alerting about dangerous contradictions between patients’ conditions and prescribed medications.
When a doctor sees a patient and wants to prescribe a certain medicine, he or she just types in the name of the medication into a patient’s record in their EMR system.
The application automatically compares the patient’s current diseases and conditions with the 6 sections in the medication package inserts to reveal any contraindications. In case there are none, the physician wouldn’t get any notifications, but if the medication package inserts contain terms that are exact or close matches to the condition titles, a red or yellow alert would show up accordingly. Upon receiving these warnings, the physician can decide if there is a need to prescribe another medication to this particular patient.
The concept created by ScienceSoft’s Business Analysts allows the Customer to provide both patients and physicians with tools to timely define inappropriate treatment and discuss more relevant choices before any medical error occurs. The solutions are aimed to improve care coordination and safeguard patients’ health, especially when it comes to patients with multiple and / or chronic conditions. Currently, our team is defining the architecture and stack of technologies to start implementation of the mobile app.
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