Clinician Responses to a Clinical Decision Support Advisory for High Risk of Torsades de Pointes

Tyler Gallo, C. William Heise, Raymond L. Woosley, James E. Tisdale, Malinda S. Tan, Sheila M. Gephart, Corneliu C. Antonescu, Daniel C. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Torsade de pointes (TdP) is a potentially fatal cardiac arrhythmia that is often drug induced. Clinical decision support (CDS) may help minimize TdP risk by guiding decision making in patients at risk. CDS has been shown to decrease prescribing of high-risk medications in patients at risk of TdP, but alerts are often ignored. Other risk-management options can potentially be incorporated in TdP risk CDS. Our goal was to evaluate actions clinicians take in response to a CDS advisory that uses a modified Tisdale QT risk score and presents management options that are easily selected (eg, single click). METHODS AND RESULTS: We implemented an inpatient TdP risk advisory systemwide across a large health care system comprising 30 hospitals. This CDS was programmed to appear when prescribers attempted ordering medications with a known risk of TdP in a patient with a QT risk score ≥12. The CDS displayed patient-specific information and offered relevant management options including canceling offending medications and ordering electrolyte replacement protocols or ECGs. We retrospectively studied the actions clinicians took within the advisory and separated by drug class. During an 8-month period, 7794 TdP risk advisories were issued. Antibiotics were the most frequent trigger of the advisory (n=2578, 33.1%). At least 1 action was taken within the advisory window for 2700 (34.6%) of the advisories. The most frequent action taken was ordering an ECG (n=1584, 20.3%). Incoming medication orders were canceled in 793 (10.2%) of the advisories. The frequency of each action taken varied by drug class (P<0.05 for all actions). CONCLUSIONS: A modified Tisdale QT risk score–based CDS that offered relevant single-click management options yielded a high action/response rate. Actions taken by clinicians varied depending on the class of the medication that evoked the TdP risk advisory, but the most frequent was ordering an ECG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere024338
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 7 2022


  • Torsades de Pointes
  • clinical
  • decision support systems
  • long QT syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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