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Causes and consequences of e-prescribing errors in community pharmacies

Authors Abramson E

Received 10 February 2015

Accepted for publication 23 March 2015

Published 20 May 2015 Volume 2015:4 Pages 31—38

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IPRP.S64927

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling


Erika L Abramson

Departments of Pediatrics and Healthcare Policy and Research, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA

Abstract: Major national policy forces are promoting the adoption and use of health information technology (health IT) to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of health care delivery. One such health IT is electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), which is the direct transmission of prescription information from a provider to a pharmacy. Given research showing that handwritten prescriptions are unsafe and associated errors can lead to tremendous inefficiency for patients and pharmacists, e-prescribing has many potential benefits. However, as with the introduction of any new technology, unintended, adverse consequences may result. The purpose of this review is to explore the causes and consequences of e-prescribing errors in community pharmacies, which are pharmacies not affiliated with a hospital or clinic. Many new types of errors – including provider order entry errors, transcription errors, and dispensing errors – appear to result from e-prescribing. These lead to important consequences for pharmacies, including safety threats to patients, reduced efficiency for pharmacists, processing delays, and increased pharmacy cost. Increased attention to system design and pharmacist training, as well as additional research in this area, will be critical to realize the full benefits of e-prescribing.

Keywords: electronic prescribing, medication errors, community pharmacies
 

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