Implementing a basic electronic prescribing system may reduce nonclinical prescribing errors.Illegibility il·leg·i·ble
Not legible or decipherable.
il·legi·bil , missing information, and wrong dose were the prescribing errors most frequently found during a pilot study of handwritten hand·write
tr.v. hand·wrote , hand·writ·ten , hand·writ·ing, hand·writes
To write by hand.
[Back-formation from handwritten.]
Adj. 1. prescribing errors conducted in an internal medicine clinic that is part of a large health system.
In preparation for implementation of an electronic prescribing system, Emily Beth Devine, Pharm.D., M.B.A., of the University of Washington, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed 1,411 prescriptions that were handwritten during a 5-month timeframe to identify and characterize medication errors medication error Malpractice An error in the type of medication administered or dosage. See Adverse effect, Error. . The electronic prescribing system was then implemented in two stages: a basic system and then an advanced system with computerized computerized
adapted for analysis, storage and retrieval on a computer.
computerized axial tomography
see computed tomography. decision support (CDS) capabilities. To identify errors, the researchers reviewed each handwritten prescription and the electronic health record. Nearly 28 percent of the prescriptions evaluated contained one or more errors.
Over 90 percent of the errors were potential errors and 79 percent were nonclinical errors (most often missing information); 21 percent were clinical errors. A total of 6.9 percent of errors reached the patient, 0.2 percent of errors caused patient harm (2 in every 1,000 prescriptions written that contained an error).
The authors suggest that implementing a basic electronic prescribing system may reduce nonclinical prescribing errors such as illegibility, missing information, and wrong dose, but that the addition of CDS alerts will be necessary to help reduce more severe clinical prescribing errors, such as contraindications due to drug-disease or drug-drug interactions.
The study was supported in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,
n.pr formerly known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, this agency researches the quality of medical care and health services. (HS15319). See "Characterization A rather long and fancy word for analyzing a system or process and measuring its "characteristics." For example, a Web characterization would yield the number of current sites on the Web, types of sites, annual growth, etc. of prescribing errors in an internal medicine clinic," by Dr. Devine, Jennifer I. Wilson-Norton, M.B.A., Nathan M. Lawless LAWLESS. Without law; without lawful control. , Ch.E., and others, in the May 15, 2007, American Journal of Health-Systems Pharmacy 64, pp. 1062-1070.