• Review
  • Published June 2007

Just what the doctor ordered. Review of the evidence of the impact of computerized physician order entry system on medication errors.

While computerized provider order entry (CPOE) is widely recommended, studies of CPOE have produced varying estimates of its effect on medication errors, and recent research has raised the concern that unintended consequences of CPOE may outweigh its benefits. This systematic review sought to determine the overall effect of CPOE on medication safety across different hospitals and patient populations. Overall, CPOE did reduce medication errors in both adults and children, but patient outcomes were not affected. The authors note that variability in error measurement and the types of CPOE systems used makes it difficult to generalize the results of specific studies. A prior review also found that health information technology in general, including CPOE, was not associated with significant improvements in patient outcomes.

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