Detection of adverse drug events in e-prescribing and administrative health data: a validation study

Title: Detection of adverse drug events in e-prescribing and administrative health data: a validation study
Authors: Habib, Bettina
Tamblyn, Robyn
Girard, Nadyne
Eguale, Tewodros
Huang, Allen
Date: 2021-04-23
Abstract: Abstract Background Administrative health data are increasingly used to detect adverse drug events (ADEs). However, the few studies evaluating diagnostic codes for ADE detection demonstrated low sensitivity, likely due to narrow code sets, physician under-recognition of ADEs, and underreporting in administrative data. The objective of this study was to determine if combining an expanded ICD code set in administrative data with e-prescribing data improves ADE detection. Methods We conducted a prospective cohort study among patients newly prescribed antidepressant or antihypertensive medication in primary care and followed for 2 months. Gold standard ADEs were defined as patient-reported symptoms adjudicated as medication-related by a clinical expert. Potential ADEs in administrative data were defined as physician, ED, or hospital visits during follow-up for known adverse effects of the study medication, as identified by ICD codes. Potential ADEs in e-prescribing data were defined as study drug discontinuations or dose changes made during follow-up for safety or effectiveness reasons. Results Of 688 study participants, 445 (64.7%) were female and mean age was 64.2 (SD 13.9). The study drug for 386 (56.1%) patients was an antihypertensive, and for 302 (43.9%) an antidepressant. Using the gold standard definition, 114 (16.6%) patients experienced an ADE, with 40 (10.4%) among antihypertensive users and 74 (24.5%) among antidepressant users. The sensitivity of the expanded ICD code set was 7.0%, of e-prescribing data 9.7%, and of the two combined 14.0%. Specificities were high (86.0–95.0%). The sensitivity of the combined approach increased to 25.8% when analysis was restricted to the 27% of patients who indicated having reported symptoms to a physician. Conclusion Combining an expanded diagnostic code set with e-prescribing data improves ADE detection. As few patients report symptoms to their physician, higher detection rates may be achieved by collecting patient-reported outcomes via emerging digital technologies such as patient portals and mHealth applications.
CollectionLibre accès - Publications // Open Access - Publications