Technology to prevent medication errors (article)

Forni A, Chu HT. Technology Utilization to Prevent Medication Errors. Curr Drug Saf. 2009 Oct 7 [ePub]

This is a nice review article explores current technologies available to healthcare and what role they play in the reduction of medication errors. The article provides a short review of literature to support each technology reviewed. Technologies covered include: Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS), Patient Monitoring: Electronic Surveillance, Reminders, and Alerts, Telemedicine, Bar Code Medication Verification (BMV), a.k.a. Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), Smart Infusion Pumps, and electronic medication administration record (eMAR).

The article concludes with:

The implementation of health information technology can result in a reduction in ADEs and can impact the quality of patient care. Systems integration and compliance are vital in achieving a safe medication use process. Hospitals that have extensive computerized technology and have greater automation tend to have better patient outcomes, including fewer complications, reduced inpatient mortality and lower hospital costs. Regulatory agencies and payers are now using performance standards and financial incentives to force practices changes. This may increase the speed and likelihood of technology implementation. While many providers may dismiss technology as being beyond their scope of practice or responsibility, both practitioners and patients should be prepared for these changes.

It’s time for healthcare system to take note of this and begin planning accordingly. You can’t escape the explosion of technology available, nor can you afford to ignore the implications of choosing not to use it.

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