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Information technology and medication safety: what is the benefit?
  1. R Kaushal1,
  2. D W Bates
  1. 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Partners HealthCare System, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr R Kaushal, Division of General Internal Medicine, PBBA3, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115, USA;


Medication errors occur frequently and have significant clinical and financial consequences. Several types of information technologies can be used to decrease rates of medication errors. Computerized physician order entry with decision support significantly reduces serious inpatient medication error rates in adults. Other available information technologies that may prove effective for inpatients include computerized medication administration records, robots, automated pharmacy systems, bar coding, “smart” intravenous devices, and computerized discharge prescriptions and instructions. In outpatients, computerization of prescribing and patient oriented approaches such as personalized web pages and delivery of web based information may be important. Public and private mandates for information technology interventions are growing, but further development, application, evaluation, and dissemination are required.

  • patient safety
  • adverse drug events
  • medication errors
  • information technology

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