Beta-lactam allergy is reported in 5–10% of children in North America, but up to 94–97% of patients are deemed not allergic after allergist assessment.
The utility of standardized skin testing for penicillin allergy in the pediatric population has been recently questioned. Oral drug challenges when appropriate, are preferred over skin testing, and can definitively rule out immediate, IgE-mediated drug allergy. To our knowledge, this is the only pediatric study to assess the reliability of a penicillin allergy stratification tool using a paper and electronic clinical algorithm. By using an electronic algorithm, we identified 61 patients (of 95 deemed not allergic by gold standard allergist decision) as low risk for penicillin allergy, with no false negatives and without the need for allergist assessment or skin testing. In this study, we demonstrate that an electronic algorithm can be used by various pediatric clinicians when evaluating possible penicillin allergy to reliably identify low risk patients. We identified the electronic algorithm was superior to the paper version, capturing an even higher percentage of low risk patients than the paper version. By developing an electronic algorithm to accurately assess penicillin allergy risk based on appropriate history, without the need for diagnostic testing or allergist assessment, we can empower non-allergist health care professionals to safely de-label low risk pediatric patients and assist in alleviating subspecialty wait times for penicillin allergy assessment.