Most Popular Questions

What is MedSafety Scan® (MSS)? 

MedSafety Scan® is an internet-based clinical decision support tool that operates on all platforms, e.g. desktop, tablet and mobile devices.  It is designed to serve the needs of prescribers, pharmacists, nurses and all other healthcare providers caring for patients who take medications.

MSS maximizes drug safety and is based on more than 20 years of research in drug safety conducted by the Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (AZCERT).

MSS addresses two of the leading causes of drug-induced harm to patients as identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the FDA, i.e. 1) medicines that cause sudden death because they prolong the QT interval on the electrocardiogram (ECG) and 2) drug combinations that when taken together interact to cause harm.

How does MSS work?

Clinicians can log in, create their work site (ICU or Non-ICU), enter a patients clinical profile and list of medications and MSS calculates the patient’s QT risk score and reports any major drug-drug interactions that are relevant to that patient. Importantly, when MSS reports a warning of QT risk, it also suggests alternatives such as, obtain ECG to check QT, change to alternatives for high risk drugs or correct low serum potassium before prescribing. 

How is MSS better than conventional “Alerts” based on computerized drug surveillance?

The MSS program offers:

  • Rapid drug list entry with autocomplete and spell check for greater accuracy
  • Tailored management recommendations using each patient’s risk profile and:
    • Calculates a risk score based on validated, weighted risk factors
    • Can be customized for specific clinical populations
  • Inform when a drug combination is contraindicated in the FDA label
  • Tiered severity of advisories – customizable cut-points for all notifications
  • Management options such as selecting a therapeutic alternative or adjusting the dose
  • Guidance for when and how to monitor patients’ ECG and/or electrolytes
  • Drill-down capacity for greater detail for drug interaction alerts or the specific elements in a patient’s QT risk score
  • Tracking of management decisions and plans for each patient
  • Report filing, transfer and record storage with HIPAA compliant system

Why is MSS needed in the clinical setting? 

Adverse Drug Reactions and Drug Interactions are the fourth leading cause of death in the US and are mostly preventable.

In the last 20 years, 14 major pharmaceutical products have been removed from the market due to QT prolongation that has been associated with TdP, a life-threatening heart rhythm disturbance, and sudden death.  Almost 50 drugs that have this risk remain on the market today and do so because their clinical value exceeds the overall low population risk of potential harm.  Another 180 drugs are known to prolong the QT and are being monitored closely for TdP risk by the FDA.  The fact that these drugs are needed but have potential for harm means that prescribers need to use every means possible to reduce the risk of harm by every means possible.  MSS is designed to make the use of those drugs safer and remain available

Why is MSS being offered at no cost to medical professionals now?

AZCERT launched the website and announced to the public the open source “decision support” to assist healthcare providers and manage the risk of QT prolongation and torsades as they treat COVID-19 patients and/or conduct clinical trials.

How long will the free subscription be available?

We plan to make MSS available to single-user professionals as long as possible. We will keep users informed as the situation evolves and will give substantial notice before free use authorizations expire. Currently, no expiration date has been set.

How is data collected used? Could it be used in a study without the contributors approval?

MedSafety Scan users have sole access to data they have entered on sites they create in MSS. We will never sell or share this information. No data entered in MSS will be analyzed by AZCERT or used in clinical studies without the prior approval of the registered user.  See our Privacy Policy for additional details.

Who created MSS or who is the founder?

MSS was developed by Raymond Woosley, MD, PhD, and a team of scientists and communication specialists. Dr. Woosley is the  Flinn Scholar and Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. He is also the founder and president of AZCERT, Inc., a nonprofit organization created with federal funding from the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services and funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to work with the College of Medicine to improve the safe use of medications.


For licensing inquiries regarding commercial use of MSS or to submit questions or feedback on the MedSafety Scan system, please fill out the form on the contact page: