A systematic evaluation of paediatric medicines information content in clinical decision support tools on smartphones and mobile devices

Sandra Benavides, Hyla Polen, Chilla Goncz, Kevin Clauson


Background Medication information is often poorly delineated for paediatric patients, resulting in high off-label and non-licensed use of drugs in this population. Access to accurate medicines information in this population becomes a necessity in order to avoid medication errors. Clinical decision support tools (CDSTs), which are increasingly available on mobile devices (e.g. smartphones), can provide healthcare providers with convenient access to paediatric medicines information at point of care. However, to date no systematic evaluation of the content in these CDSTs has been conducted.
Objectives To evaluate paediatricmedicines information in CDSTs for smartphones and other mobile devices.
Method Evaluation of CDSTs according to scope and completeness was accomplished via weighted categories of 108 questions distributed evenly across three age groups: infants, children and adolescents.
Results Three paediatric-specific databases and six general databases were evaluated. The best performer provided 75.9% of the answers for scope and scored 69.7% for completeness. Databases generally performed less effectively in providing answers sourced from clinical guidelines compared with more conservative sources such as package inserts.
Conclusions Overall, general medicines information CDSTs performed better than paediatricspecific CDSTs in both scope and completeness. Results from this study may help guide CDST selection on mobile devices by healthcare professionalswhose patient populations include paediatrics.


clinical decision support tools; drug information databases; handheld computers; paediatrics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14236/jhi.v19i1.792


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