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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2012 Aug;109(2):137-40. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2012.06.006. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Allergy alerts in electronic health records for hospitalized patients.

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Research Institute La Fe, Valencia, Spain.



Electronic health records (EHRs) are used to register important health-related information, such as allergic conditions, and contribute to the safety and quality of medical care.


To evaluate the use of allergy alert entries in EHRs and to establish the allergy profile of hospitalized patients.


Allergy data recorded in EHRs were analyzed in a cross-sectional, observational, descriptive study of patients admitted to the hospital from January 1 through June 30, 2011.


A total of 15,534 patients were admitted to the hospital during the study period. The rate of inclusion of allergy information in the EHRs was 64.4%. In 2,106 patients an alert was activated to declare an allergy, intolerance, or any other type of adverse reaction. Drugs were the most common responsible agent (74.4%), followed by foods (12.6%) and materials (4.8%). Entries for drug allergy or intolerance were more common in females (64.8%) than males, with a significant statistical difference (P < .01), and increased proportionally with age. Entries for food allergy or intolerance were also more common in females (58.0%) than males (P < .01), but this trend was reversed in the 0- to 15-year-old age group. By contrast, the entries for food allergy or intolerance decreased proportionally with age. In 7,907 cases the EHRs revealed that patients were free of allergies, intolerances, or any other type of adverse reactions.


Drug allergy was the most frequently reported allergic condition, followed by foods and materials. Allergy alerts vary depending on age and sex. The proper use of a system for allergy alerts included in EHRs provides valuable information about hospitalized patients, contributing to the improvement of clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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