Diagnostic error as a result of drug-laboratory test interactions

Jasmijn A. van Balveren (Corresponding Author), Wilhelmine P.H.G. Verboeket-van de Venne, Lale Erdem-Eraslan, Albert J. de Graaf, Annemarieke E. Loot, Ruben E.A. Musson, Wytze P. Oosterhuis, Martin P. Schuijt, Heleen van der Sijs, Rolf J. Verheul, Holger K. de Wolf, Ron Kusters, Rein M.J. Hoedemakers, Dutch Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, task group ‘SMILE’: Signalling Medication Interactions and Laboratory test Expert system

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background Knowledge of possible drug-laboratory test interactions (DLTIs) is important for the interpretation of laboratory test results. Test results may be affected by physiological or analytical drug effects. Failure to recognize these interactions may lead to misinterpretation of test results, a delayed or erroneous diagnosis or unnecessary extra tests or therapy, which may harm patients. Content Thousands of interactions have been reported in the literature, but are often fragmentarily described and some papers even reported contradictory findings. How can healthcare professionals become aware of all these possible interactions in their individual patients? DLTI decision support applications could be a good solution. In a literature search, only four relevant studies have been found on DLTI decision support applications in clinical practice. These studies show a potential benefit of automated DLTI messages to physicians for the interpretation of laboratory test results. All physicians reported that part of the DLTI messages were useful. In one study, 74% of physicians even sometimes refrained from further additional examination. Summary and outlook Unrecognized DLTIs potentially cause diagnostic errors in a large number of patients. Therefore, efforts to avoid these errors, for example with a DLTI decision support application, could tremendously improve patient outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-71
Number of pages3
JournalDiagnosis (Berlin, Germany)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2019


  • (computerized) clinical decision support
  • clinical laboratory test
  • diagnostic error
  • drug-laboratory test interaction
  • patient safety


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