New Study Shows Electronic Prescriptions Prone to Errors

A new study of the efficiency and accuracy of electronic prescriptions concludes that they are not necessarily any more accurate than manual prescriptions. The study found that nearly 10% of electronic prescriptions contained errors, a rate comparable to manually generated prescriptions. Nearly two-thirds of the errors involved missing information, and more than a third of them could have led to adverse drug events, the study found. The Boston-area researchers who conducted the study reviewed 3,850 computer-generated prescriptions received by a commercial pharmacy chain in three states during a four-week period in 2008.
The study’s researchers concluded “”Implementing a computerized prescribing system without comprehensive functionality and processes in place to ensure meaningful system use does not decrease medication errors.”
The new study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.