Prevalence of medication administration errors in two medical units with automated prescription and dispensing.
Approach to Improving Safety
- Automatic drug dispensers
- Bar Coding and Radiofrequency ID Tagging
- Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE)
- Computerized Decision Support
Setting of Care
Technological solutions such as computerized provider order entry (CPOE) hold promise for reducing medication errors at the prescribing and dispensing stage, but patients may still be harmed by incorrect administration of medications, which have been shown to be disturbingly common in prior studies. Conducted at an academic hospital in Spain that had an established CPOE system, this study found an overall administration error rate of 22%, consistent with prior studies. The hospital in question did not have a barcoding medication administration system. Combining barcoding with CPOE in a closed-loop system has been shown to significantly reduce the overall medication error rate.