Study finds e-prescribing system raises certain medication errors

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

June 1, 2011

A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that although e-prescribing systems may overall reduce errors, they may increase occurrences of certain types of errors.

The Wall Street Journal reports that researchers followed 17 physicians during implementation of a new e-prescribing system, and counted errors before implementation, 12 weeks after implementation, and one year after implementation. Errors involving dangerous abbreviation subsided, while errors in directions or frequency of medication instructions increased.

Overall, errors were reduced from 35.7 errors per 100 prescriptions to 12.2 a year after implementation.

Source: The Wall Street Journal and The Journal of General Internal Medicine.