Study: CPOE Not Error Free

June 24, 2011
Errors made through computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems ranked fourth in the top 10 additional causes of prescription errors,

Errors made through computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems ranked fourth in the top 10 additional causes of prescription errors, according to a recently released report.

In its eighth annual MedMarx Data Report, Rockville, Md.-based U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) identified 1,470 look-alike and sound-alike drugs that lead to errors when they are miscommunicated. According to the report, which included a review of more than 26,000 records, 1.4 percent of the errors resulted in patient harm, including seven errors that may have caused or contributed to patient deaths.

Computer errors included selecting the wrong product from a list and entering incorrect data, according to the report.

In response to these findings, USP is calling on prescribers and pharmacists to include an “indication for use” on prescriptions explaining why the patient is taking the drug. Additionally, prescribers are encouraged to use trustworthy decision-support tools.

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