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Computerized systems not medication error-proof

Previously on this blog optimism was expressed regarding electronic medication systems and their potential to reduce medication errors. These systems, known as computerizing prescription order entry, or CPOE, allow medical professionals to enter a patient’s medication information into a computer system. This information may include the type of medication, dosage, the time of day medication is to be administered and the form in which the drug is supposed to be administered. While many believed this computerized system would avoid the difficulties of reading hand-written prescriptions, initial indications are not proving as successful as experts wished.

In fact, one hospital saw an increase in medication errors once its CPOE system was implemented. When the hospital increased its beds from 119 to 210, they also saw a 29.2 percent increase in medication errors. Though instances of unauthorized dispensation and improper dosage decreased, failing to give a patient needed medication and instances of giving medication at the wrong time increased. Many blame the system’s inflexibility for the errors, claiming making changes in the system may lead to delayed administration of medication.

These new computer systems, while beneficial and promising, are far from perfect. This unfortunately means medication errors will continue for the foreseeable future, placing Miami residents at risk of serious harm or death. When one is injured by one of these mishaps, he or she should consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in an effort to recover his or her damages.

By seeking out a Miami-based attorney, the victim can learn about the medical malpractice lawsuit process and what an attorney can do to further the claim. To support the lawsuit, the attorney may examine medical records, interview doctors and nurses, and look to applicable law. Then, armed with as much information as possible, the attorney will fight for the compensation his or her client deserves.

Source: Fierce Health IT, “Inpatient CPOE, med reconciliation results disappointing,” Susan D. Hall, Dec. 13, 2013


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