A new computer warning system developed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center warns doctors when a drug they are prescribing can hurt elderly patients because the elderly require a different dose that the doctor may not be aware of. The reason is that there is not a lot of research that focuses on the appropriate doses for the elderly and when new research comes out, doctors are often not aware of it until it is too late. Three and a half years of testing showed that doctors changed their dosage prescription 20% of the time when faced with these warnings. I am not sure this is very comforting if 80% of the doctors ignored the warning – or perhaps didn’t know what other dose to use because they hadn’t read the research. There has to be a better way.
What do you think???