Clinical decision support in electronic prescribing systems is meant to improve patient safety by preventing prescribing errors and patient harm. However, too many irrelevant and unclear alerts that can be overridden without causing patient harm may desensitize the prescriber. This phenomenon is called alert fatigue: relevant alerts that are unjustifiably overridden along with clinically irrelevant ones. Medication errors with patient harm generally arise due to a combination of factors: technology (usability flaws in the software), people (insufficient knowledge of prescribers), process (pharmacist calls may induce trust in extra pharmacist check and less careful alert handling), organization (contact with different residents over time, whereas specialist supervises and decides), and external environment (national database). Therefore, a multifactorial approach is required for preventing the medication errors and patient harm associated with alert fatigue.

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Keywords Alert fatigue, Clinical decision support systems, Computerized prescriber order entry systems, Information technology, Medication errors, Usability
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van der Sijs, I.H. (2016). Errors related to alert fatigue. In Safety of Health IT: Clinical Case Studies (pp. 41–54). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-31123-4_4