UPMC Reduces Risk of Medication-Induced Birth Defects

Decision support in Epic guides prescribing for patients who could become pregnant

To cut down on the risk of a woman becoming pregnant while taking a medication that the FDA has identified as a cause of birth defects, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) implemented decision support tools in Epic to alert clinicians when they prescribe such a medication to a woman of childbearing age who isn’t using a contraceptive.

When clinicians are alerted, they can jump right to an activity in Epic where they can take appropriate next steps, including counseling the patient on potential risks, ordering a pregnancy test, and prescribing a contraceptive. Since implementing this workflow, UPMC has seen an increase in contraceptive prescriptions for patients taking medications that can cause birth defects.

Epic community members can learn more in a Clinical Program here.