Effect of Computerized Physician Order Entry and a Team Intervention on Prevention of Serious Medication Errors

AUTHORS

David W. Bates, MD; Lucian L. Leape, MD; David J. Cullen, MD; Nan Laird, MD; Laura A. Petersen, MD; Jonathan M. Teich, MD, PhD; Elizabeth Burdick, MS; Mairead Hickey, MD; Sharon Kleefield, MD; Brian Shea, MD; Martha Vander Vliet, RN; Diane L. Seger, RPh

CONTEXT:

Adverse drug events (ADEs) are a significant and costly cause of injury during hospitalization.

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the efficacy of 2 interventions for preventing nonintercepted serious medication errors, defined as those that either resulted in or had potential to result in an ADE and were not intercepted before reaching the patient.

DESIGN:

Before-after comparison between phase 1 (baseline) and phase 2 (after intervention was implemented) and, within phase 2, a randomized comparison between physican computer order entry (POE) and the combination of POE plus a team intervention.

SETTING:

Large tertiary care hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:

For the comparison of phase 1 and 2, all patients admitted to a stratified random sample of 6 medical and surgical units in a tertiary care hospital over a 6-month period, and for the randomized comparison during phase 2, all patients admitted to the same units and 2 randomly selected additional units over a subsequent 9-month period.

INTERVENTIONS:

A physician computer order entry system (POE) for all units and a team-based intervention that included changing the role of pharmacists, implemented for half the units.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Nonintercepted serious medication errors.

RESULTS:

Comparing identical units between phases 1 and 2, nonintercepted serious medication errors decreased 55%, from 10.7 events per 1000 patient-days to 4.86 events per 1000 (P=.01). The decline occurred for all stages of the medication-use process. Preventable ADEs declined 17% from 4.69 to 3.88 (P=.37), while nonintercepted potential ADEs declined 84% from 5.99 to 0.98 per 1000 patient-days (P=.002). When POE-only was compared with the POE plus team intervention combined, the team intervention conferred no additional benefit over POE.

CONCLUSIONS:

Physician computer order entry decreased the rate of nonintercepted serious medication errors by more than half, although this decrease was larger for potential ADEs than for errors that actually resulted in an ADE.

View Study

Justia Lawyer Rating for Jonathan Rosenfeld

Client Reviews

★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric