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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

The impact of computerized provider order entry on medication errors in a multispecialty group practice.

Devine EB, Hansen RN, Wilson-Norton JL, et al. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA. 2010;17:78-84.

Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems are widely hailed as a key strategy to improve medication safety, particularly when coupled with effective clinical decision support systems (CDSS). While desired benefits have been reported, past reviews have tempered enthusiasm in both adult and pediatric populations. This study evaluated the impact of a homegrown CPOE system (without CDSS) in a community-based multispecialty health system, a less studied setting than the academic and inpatient settings. Following implementation of CPOE, the study found that error frequency was reduced, particularly around issues of legibility, inappropriate abbreviations, and missing information. However, there was no significant reduction in the number of errors that caused harm or had clinical consequences. The authors conclude that CPOE can improve medication safety in real-world settings.