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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Analysis of variations in the display of drug names in computerized prescriber-order-entry systems.

Quist AJL, Hickman T-TT, Amato MG, et al. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 2017;74.

Evidence suggests that computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems improve medication safety by mitigating prescribing errors. However, CPOE systems may contribute to errors when user-centered design is not taken into account. In this study, researchers standardized the assessment of 10 distinct inpatient and ambulatory CPOE systems across 6 health care institutions to determine how variation in drug name display may increase the risk of medication errors. Using test patient scenarios, they found significant variation in drug name display, including inconsistencies with regard to the display of brand and generic names. Providers could theoretically prescribe both the brand and generic drug, increasing the risk for patient harm. A recent Annual Perspective discussed the benefits and limitations of CPOE with regard to patient safety.