E-Prescribing Helps Reduce Ambulatory Medication Errors

Physicians in community-based office practices have error rates nearly 50 percent lower one year after adopting an electronic prescribing system integrated within an electronic health record, according to a study in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety and published by AHRQ.

Specifically, researchers found physicians who switched from paper prescribing to e-prescribing reduced their error rates from 26 to 16 per 100 prescriptions one year after implementation. However, physicians who continued to use paper prescriptions continued to see approximately 37.3 errors per 100 prescriptions.


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E-prescribing reduced many types of prescribing errors, including route errors, strength errors, use of inappropriate abbreviations and refill errors, and completely eliminated illegibility issues.

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