The West Vic Division of General Practice (WVDGP), in collaboration with Radiology Department, East Grampians Health Service (EGHS), Ararat Medical Centre (AMC), Lake Imaging Radiology Group Ballarat and the Collaborative Centre for eHealth (CCeH), has developed a secure, electronic system for transporting Radiology requests and Radiology reports. Coupled to the electronic transmission of Radiology data is an electronic decision support tool to assist general practitioners with selection of appropriate Radiology intervention. The result is better patient outcomes due to improved quality of care, increased patient information and evidence based decision support.
Extracts of three case studies, from a larger qualitative study, are used to illustrate an emerging theme about the issue of the risks versus the benefits of providing detailed information about adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to consumers. The case studies include the consumer, medical and expert views of a single event, a suspected adverse drug reaction. The consumers would like more information. The doctors expressed that providing information about all possible ADRs can result in some consumers choosing not to take medications due to the perceived risk of the medication. The ADR experts stated that providing ADR information to the consumers within the presented case studies, might have assisted in earlier detection of the ADR, resulting in a less severe reaction. This paper aims to illustrate this emerging theme of the risks versus the benefits of providing consumers with information about potential ADRs and suggest some ways of increasing the benefits and minimizing the risk. We then indicate how these finding may inform future development of ADR decision support systems.