Published: 15 December 2014

Reporting Suspected Adverse Reactions Electronically

Prescriber Update 35(4): 57
December 2014

In 2009, Medsafe launched the electronic adverse reaction (eADR) reporting tool to help healthcare professionals working in GP practices to report suspected adverse reactions more easily. This tool was one of the first in the world to significantly reduce data entry requirements and deliver direct electronic reports from GPs to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM). Electronic reporting minimises human error and streamlines assessment.

Currently GPs use this tool to submit around a quarter of their reports. The GP Practice Management System automatically includes the patient's medical history and medicine history in the report. The system also allows additional information such as laboratory results and a description of the events to be included.

More information on how to use eADR is available at:

Alternatively, reporters can use an ADR reporting app developed by CARM for the iPhone (ADR Online) which can be accessed at: The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Reports of suspected adverse reactions can be completed online at Those who register with CARM will have their contact details automatically populated into the report. This reporting method allows attachments to be added easily to the report and reduces the amount of data entry.

CARM and Medsafe find it useful if reports include as much information as possible. This helps Medsafe and CARM to identify possible risk factors for the suspected reaction. Providing information on the outcome and successful treatments helps Medsafe and CARM offer helpful advice for other patients experiencing the same problem. The medical assessors at CARM also appreciate other documents such as discharge letters as these help to evaluate the report.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently analysed the quality of international adverse reaction reports. The WHO looked at both the number of reports per million inhabitants and completeness of these reports. New Zealand was one of the top five countries for adverse reaction reporting when both parameters are considered. (

All methods of electronic reporting are secure.

Patient details held at CARM remain completely confidential and original reports are never released. Any data that is extracted from the database (for example for Medsafe or the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee) is always anonymised for the patient and reporter.

More information is available on the CARM website

If in doubt report it, you don’t need to be certain just suspicious!