Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) usage is prevalent in patients. While many CAM practices are considered safe (e.g. yoga), biologically-based CAM could interact with prescription medications and impact patients'outcomes. We will focus on a type of biologically-based CAM, herbal products, in this study. Despite the safety concerns, the lack of patient-clinician communication regarding CAM makes it difficult to assess and mitigate the risk of herb-drug-disease interactions. In addition, many providers and consumers lack knowledge of herbal medicine. We propose an informatics solution to improve CAM communication, and alert physicians and patients of potential safety issues. Over time, the improved documentation could also provide data for research on the efficacy and safety of biologically-based CAM. In this project, we will focus on patients with cardiovascular diseases.
The specific aims are: 1. Develop a computer interview application to collect CAM data directly from patients;2. Develop an alert system to detect herb-drug-disease interactions and alert both physicians and patients;3. Evaluate if the CAM data collection and alert system can help patients and physicians identify potentially harmful products being taken, increase patient-physician communication about CAM, and trigger actions to prevent herb-drug-disease interactions.
While the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is wide spread the patient-physician communication and physician documentation on the subject is seriously lacking, which makes it difficult to mitigate the risk of herb-drug-disease interactions. In addition, both providers and consumers lack knowledge of herbal medicine. We propose develop and evaluate a CAM usage capture and interaction alert system to address the issue.