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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Impact of electronic chemotherapy order forms on prescribing errors at an urban medical center: results from an interrupted time-series analysis.

Elsaid K, Truong T, Monckeberg M, et al. International journal for quality in health care : journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care. 2013;25:656-63.

Chemotherapy is a notoriously high-risk medication. A chemotherapy medication prescribing error was responsible for one of the most infamous patient safety cases, the tragic death of Boston Globe reporter Betsy Lehman. Computerized provider order entry is thought to reduce prescribing errors, but it has not specifically been studied for chemotherapy. In this study, implementation of standardized templates for chemotherapy ordering was associated with a significant reduction in prescribing errors as well as administration errors. While this study is promising, a recent AHRQ WebM&M commentary illustrates that even standardized ordering protocols cannot entirely prevent chemotherapy errors.