An unintended consequence of electronic prescriptions: prevalence and impact of internal discrepancies.
Approach to Improving Safety
Electronic prescriptions offer significant safety advantages in the outpatient setting, in part through use of decision support systems such as standardized dosage and frequency instructions. However, this study found that allowing clinicians to enter free-text instructions in addition to standardized instructions introduced a significant risk of error, particularly for medications already considered high risk. This study adds to a growing body of literature on the unintended consequences of computerized order entry and electronic prescribing.