Improving Patient Safety through Electronic Health Records Interoperability-Developing a National Standard for Drug Allergy/Intolerance Classes

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Advisor: James Pelegano, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.


The U.S. health care system is currently undergoing unprecedented reform, including the modernization towards a national health informatics structure aimed at improving safety, quality, efficiency, and reducing disparities in care. One latent safety issue that has been identified is the accurate conveyance of drug allergies and intolerances in electronic health records (EHR). Since there is no national standard of allergy/intolerance drug classes, interoperability algorithms can potentially convey inaccurate or incomplete information between healthcare systems. The purpose of this capstone project is to utilize the convening authority of the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) to establish a national standard for drug allergy/intolerance classes, with the intent of protecting public health and individual patient safety. This project includes several steps: 1) developing USP organizational acceptance for the concept of an allergy/intolerance classification standard to be included in the official compendia of the U.S. Pharmacopeia/National Formulary (USP-NF) ; 2) utilizing stakeholder input to define the issues related to the allergy/ intolerance reporting in EHRs; 3) identifying and engaging experts through a USP Expert Panel process to create a draft standard that can be put forth to public comment; and 4) completing a draft standard and providing to the standing USP Expert Committee for Healthcare Quality for approval. At the time of this report, the project is completed through the third objective, with anticipation that the draft standard will be available for public comment by mid-2016.

Presentation: 53 minutes

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