Reduction in medication errors in hospitals due to adoption of computerized provider order entry systems

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In the study the Insitute of Medicine states that medication errors happens once per day. That is a lot of errors. Can Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) decrease medication errors?[1]


Objective Medication errors in hospitals are common, expensive, and sometimes harmful to patients. This study's objective was to derive a nationally representative estimate of medication error reduction in hospitals attributable to electronic prescribing through computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems.


  1. Medication errors expensive
  2. Medication errors harmful to patient
  3. Medication related injuries can be preventable
  4. CPOE reduce medication error due to poor hand writing.
  5. CPOE may bring new errors


  1. to improve patient safety
  2. to improve quality
  3. Value of patient care


  • Target - provided general or pediatric acute medical and surgical care and self-identified as private-for-profit, private not-for-profit, or public.
  • CPOE adoption and implementation


In 2008 approximately 38% acute care hospitals implemented CPOE Results showed a decrease in medication errors


In this study it shows that the adoption and implementation of CPOE can reduce medication error. The issue now is why still the push back on implementing CPOE.


Conflict results have been reported as to effectiveness and usefulness of CPOE on the prevention of medical errors due to:

  1. Variation of implementing environments in healthcare settings.
  2. Unknown factors whether medical errors occurred due to CPOE itself or inappropriate implementation or mishandling.
  3. CPOE newly introduced errors.

Therefore, a systematic evaluation needs to be done before we can reach a consensus about usefulness and effectiveness of CPOE.

Related Articles


  1. Radley, D. C., Wasserman, M. R., Olsho, L. E., Shoemaker, S. J., Spranca, M. D., & Bradshaw, B. (2013). Reduction in medication errors in hospitals due to adoption of computerized provider order entry systems. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20(3), 470-476.