Technology Utilization to Prevent Medication Errors

Author(s): Allison Forni, Hanh T. Chu, John Fanikos.

Journal Name: Current Drug Safety

Volume 5 , Issue 1 , 2010

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Abstract:

Medication errors have been increasingly recognized as a major cause of iatrogenic illness and system-wide improvements have been the focus of prevention efforts. Critically ill patients are particularly vulnerable to injury resulting from medication errors because of the severity of illness, need for high risk medications with a narrow therapeutic index and frequent use of intravenous infusions. Health information technology has been identified as a method to reduce medication errors as well as improve the efficiency and quality of care; however, few studies regarding the impact of health information technology have focused on patients in the intensive care unit. Computerized physician order entry and clinical decision support systems can play a crucial role in decreasing errors in the ordering stage of the medication use process through improving the completeness and legibility of orders, alerting physicians to medication allergies and drug interactions and providing a means for standardization of practice. Electronic surveillance, reminders and alerts identify patients susceptible to an adverse event, communicate critical changes in a patients condition, and facilitate timely and appropriate treatment. Bar code technology, intravenous infusion safety systems, and electronic medication administration records can target prevention of errors in medication dispensing and administration where other technologies would not be able to intercept a preventable adverse event. Systems integration and compliance are vital components in the implementation of health information technology and achievement of a safe medication use process.

Keywords: Technology, intensive care unit, patient safety, medication

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Article Details

VOLUME: 5
ISSUE: 1
Year: 2010
Page: [13 - 18]
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/157488610789869193

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