The issues and implementation of a clinical event monitor are described. An event monitor generates messages for providers, patients, and organizations based on clinical events and patient data. For example, an order for a medication might trigger the generation of a warning about a drug interaction. A model based on the active database literature has as its main components an event (which triggers a rule to fire), a condition (which tests whether an action ought to be performed), and an action (often the generation of a message). The details of implementing such a monitor are described, using as an example the Columbia- Presbyterian Medical Center clinical event monitor, which is based on the Arden Syntax for Medical Logic Modules.