Study: CPOE Cuts Risk of Medication Errors Nearly in Half

Computerized provider order entry decreased the risk of medication errors by nearly half, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Researchers conducted a literature review of the use of computerized provider order entry and medication errors using data from the 2006 American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Survey, the 2007 American Hospital Association Annual Survey and the AHA's 2008 Electronic Health Record Adoption Database supplement.

Data showed that processing a prescription drug order through CPOE reduced the likelihood of error on the order by 48 percent, according to the study. Based on CPOE adoption and use in hospitals in 2008, the authors estimate CPOE reduced medication errors in the U.S. by 12.5 percent, avoiding approximately 17.4 million medication errors in one year.

The authors noted that while the data suggests CPOE can reduce the number of medication errors, an associated decrease in patient harm is unclear.

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