Study finds high variance of errors in pediatric CPOE systems

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Computerized physician order entry systems at pediatric hospitals were found to identify potential patient safety threats with varying success, according to research published in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Researchers used Leapfrog Group's pediatric CPOE evaluation tool to assess the ability of a CPOE system to identify orders that could potentially lead to patient harm. They looked at 41 pediatric hospitals over a two-year period.

Overall, pediatric CPOE systems identified 62 percent of potential medication errors among all facilities, but the rate of error identification widely ranged between facilities, from 23 percent to 91 percent.

CPOE systems most often identified errors regarding drug-allergy interactions, dosing limits and inappropriate routes of administration, according to the study.

Researchers found after initial testing following CPOE implementation, testing scores of error identification increased 4 percentage points each year, but that trend did not persist long-term.

"Prospective and repeated testing using the Leapfrog Group's evaluation tool is associated with improved ability to intercept potential medication errors," researchers concluded.

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