Prevention of pediatric medication errors by hospital pharmacists and the potential benefit of computerized physician order entry

Jerome K Wang, Nicole S Herzog, Rainu Kaushal, Christine Park, Carol Mochizuki, Scott R Weingarten
Pediatrics 2007, 119 (1): e77-85

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this work was to characterize medication errors and adverse drug events intercepted by a system of pediatric clinical pharmacists and to determine whether the addition of a computerized physician order entry system would improve medication safety.

METHODS: The study included 16,938 medication orders for 678 admissions to the pediatric units of a large academic community hospital. Pediatric clinical pharmacists reviewed medication orders and monitored subsequent medication use. Medication errors and adverse drug events were identified by daily review of documentation, voluntary reporting, and solicitation. Each potentially harmful medication error was judged whether or not it was intercepted and, if not, whether it would have been captured by a computerized physician order entry system.

RESULTS: Overall, 865 medication errors occurred, corresponding with a rate of 5.2 per 100 medication orders. A near-miss rate of 0.96% and a preventable adverse drug event rate of 0.09% were observed. Overall, 78% of potentially harmful prescribing errors were intercepted; however, none of the potentially harmful errors occurring at administration was intercepted and accounted for 50% of preventable adverse drug events. A computerized physician order entry system could capture additional potentially harmful prescribing and transcription errors (54%-73%) but not administration errors (0% vs 6%).

CONCLUSIONS: A system of pediatric clinical pharmacists effectively intercepted inpatient prescribing errors but did not capture potentially harmful medication administration errors. The addition of a computerized physician order entry system to pharmacists is unlikely to prevent administration errors, which pose the highest risk of patient injury.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"