Pop-up alert doubles prescription of lifesaving heart failure drugs

Using an automated system that alerts physicians when patients are eligible for heart failure drugs doubled the prescriptions, a study published March 5 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found.

The study, conducted by researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, tested two automated technologies using more than 2,220 patients in treatment for heart failure. The systems analyzed patient records to determine if a patient was eligible for mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, a drug that greatly increases survival rates but is underutilized, according to a news release from NYU Langone Health.

The two systems alerted physicians using a pop-up banner or an email. Cardiologists who received a banner alert prescribed MRA therapy for about 30 percent of their patients, compared with 16 percent for email messages and 12 percent who received no messages.

Almost two-thirds of eligible patients are not prescribed MRAs, often due to difficulty determining eligibility, according to the release. This study is the first to compare effectiveness of alert messages in addressing heart failure, according to study authors.

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