Current Research: ActionADE Application

Why do we need the ActionADE application?

Information sharing

The goal of the ActionADE application is to bridge information gaps across healthcare providers (e.g., pharmacists, emergency physicians,  general practitioners, and nurse practitioners), and between locations (e.g., hospitals and community-based pharmacies).

Better documentation & reporting

Our goal is to integrate adverse drug event reporting and documentation into existing health care practices to increase patient safety.

In current electronic systems, the adverse drug event report features have not been standardized using unambiguous terminology and the reports live within one part of the health care system. ActionADE has been designed to use standardized, unambiguous terminology for adverse drug event documentation and to be interoperable with the different information systems used across the healthcare system. 

Timely alerts

We want to make it easier for clinicians to report adverse drug events, and then use that information to generate timely patient- and medication-specific alerts to warn and inform them about previous adverse drug events (e.g. when clinicians try to prescribe or dispense a medication that previously caused an adverse drug event).

Better data

The ActionADE Application will also help support British Columbia’s adverse drug events reporting infrastructure by better meeting the data needs of researchers, drug regulators, and decision-makers, and assisting health institutions in complying with new federal adverse drug event reporting requirements.

Adverse drug event information flow

Existing versus with ActionADE

From Peddie et al. (2016).

ActionADE application details

The ActionADE application is an electronic interface and database that can be accessed from within existing electronic medical record systems or through a web page in settings where no electronical medical record system exists.

The ActionADE entry form enables structured documentation and retrieval of electronic information related to adverse drug events, using a research-based combination of drop-down form fields.

In a pilot project in three hospitals in the Lower Mainland, ActionADE will share this information with PharmaNet – British Columbia’s medication dispensing database.

Community pharmacy software will then retrieve this patient-specific adverse drug event information from PharmaNet and display safety alerts when clinicians attempt to prescribe or dispense a drug likely to cause harm. Once implemented, this technology will provide real-time links between community settings (e.g., pharmacies) and hospitals to create seamless transfer of information between care providers or points of care.

These alerts are not the same as generic alerts currently generated by some electronic medical record systems and drug information databases. Current generic alerts warn health providers of things like known drug-drug interactions, but can often cause “alert fatigue” by popping up too often and/or providing information the care provider already knows.

ActionADE alerts are different because they are generated by a single patient’s individual medical history. When the information from the ActionADE application is used to alert a pharmacist, the alert is directly relevant to both the patient’s history and the pharmacist’s actions. For example, an alert would only arise if the community pharmacist tried to dispense a specific drug that previously caused an adverse drug event in that patient. If the community pharmacist dispensed some other drug – one that had not been linked to a previous adverse drug event in that particular patient – then no alert would be generated.


Cite this webpage as: Current Research: ActionADE Application. (2016, February 3). Retrieved from