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Getting Started / Setting Up Ava Drug Interactions Service
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Setting Up Ava Drug Interactions Service

Ava makes checking for drug interactions easy! We’ve iterated through several versions of the Drug Interaction Service (DIS) to make sure it’s clinically useful but at the same time doesn’t get in the way of your workflow.

Before we get started we want to post the disclaimer and license information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

The Ava Drug Interaction Service utilizes publicly available data from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services; NLM is not responsible for the product and does not endorse or recommend this or any other product.

We’ve added this tutorial to make it easy to set up and start using Drug Interaction Service!

1. Activating Ava Drug Interactions Service

By default DIS is not activated – as a user you’ll have to read through and agree to the terms of service before DIS becomes active. There’s no extra cost to using DIS – we just want to make sure you have a good sense of the abilities and limitations before using DIS!

To activate DIS go hover over your name in the top right corner and click on “Account Management.” On the left hand menu click on “AVA Customizations.” You’ll see a box that has AVA Drug Interactions Service – [click to activate].

Review the Terms of Service and if they look acceptable click the button to activate DIS!

Screenshot of Ava customizations dashboard

2. Check for Interactions

If you navigate to a patient chart you’ll notice that the medications module has a new link that says “Interactions Checker.” Clicking on this link will review for interactions.

Screenshot of medications workflow

3. Review the Interactions (if any have been found)

DIS separates out the interactions into several different lists. All of the interactions will be listed under the “All” tab. However, if you’re only interested in one medication (for example, the patient has an extensive list and you’re adding in a new medication) you can click on the specific medication to see how it interacts with the rest of the list.

Screenshot of Ava drug interactions service menu

4. Tips and Tricks

There’s a few things to watch out for (if you ever forget just hover over the question marks for help!).

  • Ava isn’t always able to match a medication to a “RXCUI” (the drug identifier used in the United States). This can be due to a medication not being available in the USA, a brand name being different in Canada than the USA or a natural health product that’s not listed in the RXCUI database. Regardless, any medications that can’t be matched are listed under “Unchecked Medications” so it’s easy to tell at a glance what’s been included in the interactions check.
  • Sometimes Ava can’t identify combination pills (like “Coversyl Plus” [perindopril/indapamide]). We’ve added in some intelligent algorithms to try to identify combination pills but it’s not always perfect. In order to help with this Ava has a “# of ingredients found” for each checked medication. In most cases one medication will have one ingredient (ie. irbesartan is a single ingredient drug). However, in the case of a combination pill you can see if the DIS was able to check both ingredients by looking to see if the line says 2 ingred.
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