Feedback and training to improve use of an electronic prescribing system: a randomised controlled trial

Scott Leung, Wu Yi Zheng, Anmol Sandhu, Richard Day, Ling Li, Melissa Baysari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Excessive presentation of alerts in electronic prescribing systems (ePS) results in 'alert fatigue' which reduces alert effectiveness and frustrates users. Previous research at our study site showed high rates of duplication alerts, some of which were the result of doctors not using available short-cut functions in the ePS. This study aimed to improve uptake of short-cut functions and so reduce alert fatigue by trialing two interventions: feedback and training. Fifty doctors were randomised to one of three groups: Control, Feedback or Training. The Feedback group received an individualised feedback report via email and the Training group received brief face-to-face refresher training. Participants partook in informal interviews to discuss the training and the ePS in use. The proportion of orders which triggered a duplication alert was our primary outcome measure. Neither intervention had a significant impact on duplication alert rate (Feedback: 80.8% vs. 77.8% of orders, Training: 77.5% vs. 76.5% of orders; all p>0.05). We identified a number of factors related to the intervention, ePS and prescribing environment that contributed to this result. Rather than focusing on changing prescribing behaviour, we suggest a more effective and appropriate approach is to redesign the ePS so that fewer and more meaningful alerts are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrating and Connecting Care - Selected Papers from the 25th Australian National Health Informatics Conference, HIC 2017
EditorsAngela Ryan, Louise K. Schaper, Sue Whetton
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781614997825
ISBN (Print)9781614997825
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event25th Australian National Health Informatics Conference, HIC 2017 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 6 Aug 20179 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Conference25th Australian National Health Informatics Conference, HIC 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017 and IOS Press. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • alert fatigue
  • alerts
  • electronic prescribing
  • feedback
  • training


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