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Smartphones Used by Doctors to Avoid Adverse Prescription Drug Reactions among Nursing Home Patients

Smartphones have brought a lot of conveniences to our lives, and now they may be saving lives. We read an interesting article published on HealthDay.com this week about a new study that shows doctors who used their smartphones or mobile devices to look up drug information when they were prescribing medications to patients in nursing homes helped to prevent drug reactions.

According to the article, researchers found that nearly 90 percent of doctors avoided at least one potentially dangerous drug reaction in the previous month by checking drug-reference software on their smartphones. The problem is that most nursing homes do not have electronic medical record systems, so doctors may not have access to current medication information when they are prescribing for residents.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. They found 42 percent of doctors who were surveyed used their mobile device to look up drug information. Researchers reported that this behavior was more common with doctors who had been practicing for 15 years or less.

Some other interesting points from the study include the following:
98% of those surveyed said they used drug-referencing software on a daily basis
88% of those surveyed said that by looking up medication information on their mobile device they had prevented at least 1 drug reaction in the past four weeks
The study added that nearly 93,000 deaths in nursing homes are linked to adverse drug reactions. Half of these adverse reactions are thought to be preventable.

We applaud those doctors who use today’s technology to give them the most up-to-date information regarding prescription drugs. We hope to see this trend take off in the future.