Transitioning to Better E-prescribing Tech Can Lead to Med Mal Errors Even for the Seasoned

Side Note: Electronic prescribing is nothing new, yet it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. From 2009 to 2010, electronic prescriptions went up by 72%. So, you would think that transitioning from one electronic prescribing system to another wouldn’t be that hard for seasoned, experienced e-prescribing physicians. But, a recent study conducted by physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital identified the challenges faced and the kinds of errors that occurred when transitioning to new electronic prescribing technology. The data was gathered from February 2008 to August 2009 at an academic ambulatory clinic.

While the overall number of errors with the old system was 36%, and dropped to just 12% with the new system one year later, there was a rough transition to get there. Many kinds of errors actually increased in the first 12 weeks of the new system. These kinds of errors were associated with medication frequency, dosage and directions. The results were surprising to the study’s authors and to us. Read on to find their suggestions and recommendations for how to reduce your med mal risk and avoid using your medical malpractice insurance while transitioning.

Cunningham Group may be able to lower your medical malpractice insurance rates. Contact us today to see if we can.

Upgrading e-prescribing system can bump up error risk
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Posted June 13, 2011

perscription pillsSwitching to new or upgraded electronic-prescribing systems may pose patient safety risks during the transition period, despite the advanced clinical decision support tools offered by the newly implemented technology.

Many hospitals and physician practices are upgrading or switching their e-prescribing systems to meet meaningful use incentive requirements. Physicians from Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, both in New York, authored a report published online April 16 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine that identified challenges associated with switching to new e-prescribing technology. Some of those issues may pose safety threats during the first few weeks after implementation, the study found.

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