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Computerized Drug Ordering Reduces Chemotherapy Errors

Written By: Jason Shafrin - May• 10•06

Here’s one for The Healthcare IT Guy

MedPage Today reports that “Computerized Drug Ordering Reduces Chemotherapy Errors.” Some excerpts:

Using the system reduced the likelihood that a child would get the wrong daily chemotherapy dose by 74%, and virtually eliminated the risk of dose calculation errors, wrote Christopher U. Lehmann, M.D., of Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

The researchers also published a study in the May 8 issue of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine showing that a web-based infusion calculator reduced the number of orders containing errors by 83%.

…The system, described in the Archives [of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine] study, also helps to reduce errors that arise from clinicians’ stereotypically illegible handwriting by forcing providers to use a drop-down menu for drug selection. To determine whether the system was having its desired effect, Dr. Lehmann and colleagues compared 1,259 handwritten orders with 1,116 electronic orders, and found that after the implementation of the computerized system the relative risk that chemotherapy orders would contain dosing errors was 0.26 (95% confidence interval, 0.11-0.61).

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  1. […] As reported on May 10th, I suggested that information technology could improve the error rate.  The authors of the article agree with me, but are skeptical of the progress which has been made: “But as Daniel R. Longo, Sc.D., and colleagues, of the University of Missouri-Columbia reported last December in the Journal of the American Medical Association, while 74% of hospitals surveyed have implemented a written patient safety plan, nearly 9% have no such plan. […]

  2. […] On May 10th this site ran a post on this issue and I suggested that information technology could improve the error rate.  The authors of the article agree with me, but are skeptical of the progress which has been made: “But as Daniel R. Longo, Sc.D., and colleagues, of the University of Missouri-Columbia reported last December in the Journal of the American Medical Association, while 74% of hospitals surveyed have implemented a written patient safety plan, nearly 9% have no such plan. […]