The Particulars: Antiretroviral (ARV) medication errors may lead to toxicity and could decrease the efficacy of therapy over time. Such errors can also lead to the development of viral mutations to current ARV therapy and limit future treatments. Electronic medical record (EMR) use in the hospital may help reduce potential ARV errors and aid in medication reconciliation.
Data Breakdown: Investigators implemented an intervention in a study that involved having all ARVs in a hospital EMR updated and continuously maintained with any changes from an HIV outpatient clinic. When compared with the period before the intervention, the ARV error rate decreased by 93% (16.0% vs 1.1%). The costs associated with the decreased number of errors dropped by 85%.
Take Home Pearl: Using EMRs to help maintain outpatient HIV clinic ARV regimens appears to significantly decrease medication errors and costs associated with these errors.