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Journal Article > Study
Poon EG, Keohane CA, Yoon CS, et al. N Engl J Med. 2010;362:1698-1707.
Information technology solutions have proven effective at reducing some types of medication errors. For example, computerized provider order entry (CPOE) can reduce errors at the prescribing and transcription stages. Barcoding of medications has been advocated as a means of reducing medication administration errors; although some studies have found success, others have noted unintended consequences. This study tested a closed-loop system that combined CPOE, barcoding, and an electronic medication administration record in an academic medical center and found that the system significantly reduced administration errors as well as potential adverse drug events. The authors note that significant changes in workflow were necessary to achieve these results and caution that successful use of this technology requires considerable attention to development and implementation.
ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. May 2, 2001.
This is an alert from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices informing readers of a fatal medication error that occurred because of a misinterpreted decimal point. The error involved administration of morphine to a 9-month-old infant who received 5 mg instead of 0.5 mg of the drug. The order did not include a zero before the decimal point, and the nurse filling the order overlooked the omission. The child suffered a cardiac arrest and died. The case illustrates the importance of clearly communicating information about medications.