Birgit Eiermann

Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (10)23.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of prescribed combinations of interacting drugs in the Swedish population.
    European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 09/2014; · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Correction After publication of the original article [1] it came to the publishers attention that the names of the last two authors have been inadvertently transposed. The correct authors' list should read as indicated above. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. References [1] Coleman JJ, van der Sijs H, Haefeli WE, Slight SP, McDowell SE, Seidling HM, Eiermann B, Aarts J, Ammenwerth E, Ferner RE, Slee A. On the alert: future priorities for alerts in clinical decision support for computerized physician order entry identified from a European workshop. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2013, 13:111.
    BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 11/2013; 13(1):122. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical decision support (CDS) for electronic prescribing systems (computerized physician order entry) should help prescribers in the safe and rational use of medicines. However, the best ways to alert users to unsafe or irrational prescribing are uncertain. Specifically, CDS systems may generate too many alerts, producing unwelcome distractions for prescribers, or too few alerts running the risk of overlooking possible harms. Obtaining the right balance of alerting to adequately improve patient safety should be a priority. A workshop funded through the European Regional Development Fund was convened by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust to assess current knowledge on alerts in CDS and to reach a consensus on a future research agenda on this topic. Leading European researchers in CDS and alerts in electronic prescribing systems were invited to the workshop. We identified important knowledge gaps and suggest research priorities including (1) the need to determine the optimal sensitivity and specificity of alerts; (2) whether adaptation to the environment or characteristics of the user may improve alerts; and (3) whether modifying the timing and number of alerts will lead to improvements. We have also discussed the challenges and benefits of using naturalistic or experimental studies in the evaluation of alerts and suggested appropriate outcome measures. We have identified critical problems in CDS, which should help to guide priorities in research to evaluate alerts. It is hoped that this will spark the next generation of novel research from which practical steps can be taken to implement changes to CDS systems that will ultimately reduce alert fatigue and improve the design of future systems.
    BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 10/2013; 13(1):111. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the extent to which clinicians avoid well-established drug-drug interactions that cause statin-induced myopathy. We hypothesised that clinicians would avoid combining erythromycin or verapamil/diltiazem respectively with atorvastatin or simvastatin. In patients with statin-fibrate combination therapy, we hypothesised that gemfibrozil was avoided to the preference of bezafibrate or fenofibrate. When combined with verapamil/diltiazem or fibrates, we hypothesized that the dispensed doses of atorvastatin/simvastatin would be decreased. Cross-sectional analysis of nationwide dispensing data. Odds ratios of interacting erythromycin, verapamil/diltiazem versus respective prevalence of comparator drugs doxycycline, amlodipine/felodipine in patients co-dispensed interacting statins simvastatin/atorvastatin versus patients unexposed (pravastatin/fluvastatin/rosuvastatin) was calculated. For fibrates, OR of gemfibrozil versus fenofibrate/bezafibrate in patients co-dispensed any statin was assessed. OR of interacting erythromycin versus comparator doxycycline did not differ between patients on interacting and comparator statins either in patients dispensed high or low statin doses (adjusted OR 0.87; 95% CI 0.60-1.25 and 0.92; 95% CI 0.69-1.23). Interacting statins were less common among patients dispensed verapamil/diltiazem as compared to patients on amlodipine/felodipine (OR high dose 0.62; CI 0.56-0.68 and low dose 0.63; CI 0.58-0.68). Patients on any statin were to a lesser extent dispensed gemfibrozil compared to patients not dispensed a statin (OR high dose 0.65; CI 0.55-0.76 and low dose 0.70; CI 0.63-0.78). Mean DDD (SD) for any statin was substantially higher in patients co-dispensed gemfibrozil 178 (149) compared to patients on statin monotherapy 127 (93), (p<0.001). Prescribers may to some extent avoid co-prescription of statins with calcium blockers and fibrates with an increased risk of myopathy. We found no evidence for avoiding co-prescriptions of statins and antibiotics with an increased risk of statin-induced adverse drug reactions. Co-prescription of statins and gemfibrozil is paradoxically associated with a marked increased statin dose, further aggravating the risk for severe myopathy.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e69545. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To present concept, methods and use of a knowledge database providing assessments of potential fetal risks for all drugs on the Swedish market. METHODS: Assessments of fetal risks are made primarily by analyzing prospective epidemiological data from the Swedish Medical Birth Register on drug intake in relation to birth outcome. This is complemented by evaluation of the scientific literature. Following standardized working procedures, a statement is compiled for each substance, which is also classified into one of three categories depending on the estimated risk level. The final documents include drug product names on the market, via linkage to a medicinal products register. The information is free and published on the website www.janusinfo.se . It can also be used as an integrated part of electronic health records. RESULTS: The database covers assessments of fetal risks for close to 1,250 medicinal drug substances on the Swedish market. Each year, 96,000 searches are made, which might be compared to the around 100,000 children born in Sweden yearly. Apart from the Swedish Physicians' Desk Reference (Fass), the database is the most commonly used resource among specialists within gynaecology and perinatal medicine for information on drugs during pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: A non-commercial knowledge base with assessments of fetal risk of different drugs is valued by health care professionals and is used extensively in Sweden. Based on analyses of national health registers, the database provides unique information on teratogenic drug risks.
    European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 09/2012; · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To investigate the impact of the integration of the drug-drug interaction database SFINX into primary health care records on the prevalence of potentially serious drug-drug interactions. METHODS: The study was a controlled before-and-after study on the prevalence of potential drug-drug interactions before and after the implementation of SFINX at 15 primary healthcare centres compared with 5 centres not receiving the intervention. Data on dispensed prescriptions from health care centres were retrieved from the Swedish prescribed drug register and analysed for September-December 2006 (pre-intervention) and September-December 2007 (post-intervention). All drugs dispensed during each 4 month period were regarded as potentially interacting. RESULTS: Use of SFINX was associated with a 17% decrease, to 1.81 × 10(-3) from 2.15 × 10(-3) interactions per prescribed drug-drug pair, in the prevalence of potentially serious drug-drug interactions (p = 0.042), whereas no significant effect was observed in the control group. The change in prevalence of potentially serious drug-drug interactions did not differ significantly between the two study groups. The majority of drug-drug interactions identified were related to chelate formation. CONCLUSION: Prescriptions resulting in potentially serious drug-drug interactions were significantly reduced after integration of the drug-drug interaction database SFINX into electronic health records in primary care. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of drug-drug interaction warning systems.
    European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 07/2012; · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Relevant and easily accessible drug information at point-of-care is essential for physicians' decision making when prescribing. However, the information available by using Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSSs) often does not meet physicians' requirements. The Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) is statutory information about drugs. However, the current structure, content and format of SmPCs make it difficult to incorporate them into CDSSs and link them to relevant patient information from the Electronic Health Records. The aim of the study was to evaluate the perceived needs for drug information among physicians in Sweden. We recruited three focus group discussions with 18 physicians covering different specialities. The information from the groups was combined with a questionnaire administered at the beginning of the group discussions. Physicians reported their needs for knowledge databases at the point of drug prescribing. This included more consistent information about existing and new drugs. They also wished to receive automatically generated alerts for severe drug-drug interactions and adverse effects, and to have functions for calculating glomerular filtration rate to enable appropriate dose adjustments to be made for elderly patients and those with impaired renal function. Additionally, features enhancing electronic communication with colleagues and making drug information more searchable were suggested. The results from the current study showed the need for knowledge databases which provide consistent information about new and existing drugs. Most of the required information from physicians appeared to be possible to transfer from current SmPCs to CDSSs. However, inconsistencies in the SmPC information have to be reduced to enhance their utility.
    British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 06/2011; 73(1):115-25. · 3.69 Impact Factor
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    Decision Support Systems, 01/2010; , ISBN: 978-953-7619-64-0
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    ABSTRACT: The aim was to develop a drug-drug interaction database (SFINX) to be integrated into decision support systems or to be used in website solutions for clinical evaluation of interactions. Key elements such as substance properties and names, drug formulations, text structures and references were defined before development of the database. Standard operating procedures for literature searches, text writing rules and a classification system for clinical relevance and documentation level were determined. ATC codes, CAS numbers and country-specific codes for substances were identified and quality assured to ensure safe integration of SFINX into other data systems. Much effort was put into giving short and practical advice regarding clinically relevant drug-drug interactions. SFINX includes over 8,000 interaction pairs and is integrated into Swedish and Finnish computerised decision support systems. Over 31,000 physicians and pharmacists are receiving interaction alerts through SFINX. User feedback is collected for continuous improvement of the content. SFINX is a potentially valuable tool delivering instant information on drug interactions during prescribing and dispensing.
    European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 03/2009; 65(6):627-33. · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stockholm County Council is the largest health care provider in Sweden with an annual budget of US$ 5 billion and catering the needs of a metropolitan population of 2 million people. About 10% of health care costs are used on drugs. In 1996 Stockholm County Council decided to address the main problems associated with the process and the quality of drug prescribing. A multiyear strategy was designed, including the establishment of a strong evidence-based organisation, Drug and Therapeutics Committees and editorial resources to adapt information to the IT-media and the development of the IT-architecture. The development and implementation of computerized tools such as a physician drug order entry system including decision support, a drug information website and electronic transmission of prescriptions were started in 1996. The implementation was slow at the point-of-care units. It took about 6 years before the implementation process gained speed. In September 2005 almost 1000 doctors could use the decision support system for prescribing drugs and more than 70% of all prescriptions were transmitted electronically in our region. The work with the strategy has shown that improvements in drug use can be accomplished by providing access to simple, rapid and safe electronic tools, but the information provided has to be associated with well-recognized regional and national expert organisations.
    International Journal of Medical Informatics 08/2007; 76(7):497-506. · 2.06 Impact Factor