Physicians Share Extraordinary Patient Safety Moments with Epocrates
Real-World Scenarios Emerge from ACP Conference as Physicians Describe How Epocrates Helps Make Critical Prescribing Decisions
San Mateo, Calif. – April 20, 2012 — Internists convene this week at the American College of Physicians (ACP) Internal Medicine 2012 conference in New Orleans to discuss new treatments, share best practices and explore how technology is used to enhance clinical care and avoid medical errors. As developers of the most used medical app among U.S. physicians, Epocrates, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPOC) invited conference attendees to share anecdotes of how its technology solutions are helping them make safer and more confident prescribing decisions at the point of care.
Identifying Adverse Reactions with Epocrates
More than 60 percent of practicing internists use an Epocrates application to support patient care, most often on an iPhone or Android smartphone. Among the most valuable features of Epocrates' drug reference content is the adverse reaction profile, as illustrated below:
A woman in her 70s with type 2 diabetes and several other chronic ailments came in for her first visit with Dr. David C. Gregory of Decatur, Ill. A chief complaint was increasing peripheral edema, or tissue swelling, which the patient suspected to be a side effect of an insulin treatment she recently started. Unfamiliar with such a reaction, Dr. Gregory swiftly looked up the medication in the Epocrates application on his Google Android device and confirmed the side effect. He then used Epocrates to identify an alternative insulin medication that would not cause edema, while still providing glucose control.
"This is one of many cases where I have been able to use Epocrates to quickly identify an adverse reaction or potential side effect of a medication that a patient is inquiring about. Epocrates helps me be able to make immediate changes or, in many cases, just reassure the patient that the side effect/adverse reaction probably has nothing to do with the medication," said Dr. Gregory. "It sure beats carrying around a 20 pound outdated textbook!"
Preventing Drug Errors with Epocrates
According to a recent survey, more than 50 percent of physicians report that Epocrates helps them avoid one or more adverse drug events (ADE) per week. A projected 16 million-plus ADEs were avoided or identified with Epocrates in the last year. Below is an example of how Epocrates helped avoid an ADE:
Dr. Jeffrey M. Kagan of Newington, Conn. recently saw a long-time patient taking carbamazepine, an epilepsy medication. The patient was barely able to walk, weak and dizzy, and said he "felt like he was falling." Dr. Kagan discovered another physician had treated the patient with clarithromycin for an infection 10 days earlier. A quick query of Epocrates' drug interaction checker revealed that the combination of the two medications produced a higher risk of toxicity, which would cause the instability. A blood test confirmed that the patient's carbamazepine level was toxic and Dr. Kagan instructed him to hold off taking carbamazepine for a few days. The patient soon returned to normal.
Saving Patients' Lives with Epocrates
An overwhelming majority of physicians, 85 percent, report using Epocrates multiple times per day, with more than 30 percent referencing it more than five times a day. Many call on the Pill ID feature to help identify "mystery" pills simply by entering characteristics such as color, shape and imprint code. While it is often used to help clear up patient confusion about existing medications, there are instances when physicians, EMTs and even police officers have used Epocrates Pill ID to help save patients' lives, as illustrated below:
Dr. Marc R. Matrana of Houston, Texas recently used the Epocrates Pill ID feature to help save a life. Dr. Matrana reports that he saw a young man who was very sick after ingesting several unidentified pills. Based on pill descriptions obtained from the patient's family, Dr. Matrana used the Pill ID feature to identify what the patient had taken, contact poison control and begin proper treatment.
"The patient who had ingested the pills walked out of the hospital a few days later, but I am certain without Epocrates he would be dead," said Dr. Matrana. "Epocrates is an invaluable partner for physicians and our patients."
Additional Epocrates Stories
Epocrates invites clinicians to share their extraordinary stories by visiting ACP booth #1015 or posting on the Epocrates Facebook page.
About Epocrates, Inc.
Epocrates, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPOC) is a leading physician platform for essential clinical content, practice tools and health industry engagement at the point of care. The Epocrates network consists of more than one million healthcare professionals, including 50 percent of U.S. physicians, who routinely use its solutions and services, such as the industry's #1 most used mobile drug reference, and valuable manufacturer resources. Through these intuitive and reliable resources, Epocrates supports clinical decisions, helps improve physician workflow and impacts patient outcomes. For more information, please visit www.epocrates.com/company.
Epocrates is a trademark of Epocrates, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.