Safety

EHRs blamed for hundreds of medication errors in Pennsylvania

By John Gregory
Apr 10, 2017

In the first half of 2016, 889 medication errors or close calls in Pennsylvania hospitals could have been attributed to electronic health records or other monitoring technology, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The report from the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority said most of the errors were either missed dosages or administration of an incorrect dose. Of the 889 errors, 70 percent reached the patient. Only eight patients were actually harmed, including three receiving “critical drugs such as insulin, anticoagulants and opioids.”

While eight incidents of patient harm would represent a very small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of dosages administered by hospitals during that time frame, study authors believed the real number of errors would be higher.

“This is the classic ‘tip of the iceberg,’” said pharmacist Matthew Grissinger, manager of medication safety analysis for the Patient Safety Authority. “We know for a ton of reasons not every error is reported.”

Read the full article below:
Medication errors in hospitals don’t disappear with new technology