Reducing Medication Errors
In the field of healthcare, medicines treat contagious ailments, avert complications from protracted diseases, and alleviate among other functions. However, they may cause adverse reactions if not taken accurately owing to errors. The latter is defined as any avoidable events that may cause or result in inappropriate medication use or a patient injury when such medication is administered by a healthcare specialist, consumer, or patient. Medication errors may be associated with healthcare products, professional practice, systems, and procedures among others. Thus, owing to their increased incidence with resultant patient costs and injuries, preventing them is a global priority for healthcare systems. The following report examines the use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) in reducing medication errors, the benefits experienced, and the barriers faced, as well as offers recommendations.
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The prevention of medication errors and harmful drug effects has become the priority globally. There is proof that systems that employ computerized physician order entry avert medication errors (Frisse, Rohrig, Franklin, Polidori, & Schulz, 2016, p. 228). Fewer complications, reduced costs, and morality are recorded in hospitals implementing such systems. Clinical decision-making is an intricate process that banks on the human capacity to focus, recall, memorize, and synthesize large data all in a sensitive area. In line with this, CPOE systems can enhance access to pieces of facts, organize, and classify connections between them. Clinicians regularly identify facts like drug recall warnings and interactions but unfortunately forget to implement them during prescribing. CPOE systems are efficient in closing this error gap by offering pertinent facts to the health specialist during decision-making.
Information Technology Systems: CPOE with Choice Support
With distinct patient choice support, CPOE is a conceivably strong intervention for enhancing patient safety and reducing medication errors, considering most faults happen at the prescribing phase. CPOE structures are usually combined with some clinical decision support system, which helps alleviate omission and commission errors. There are several benefits associated with the technology. The system ensures that an order is complete and legible comprising entirely pertinent facts like route, dose, and dosage forms (Frisse et al., 2016, p. 229). CPOE similarly checks for faults like drug-drug interactions and allergies, as well as offers dosage adjustment calculations founded on clinical aspects of renal function or weight.
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Evidence of Effectiveness
CPOE systems use has risen significantly in inpatient and outpatient settings. Inaccuracies in prescription may be eradicated by the enactment of this technology significantly if combined with a resolution support system (Frisse et al., 2016, p. 229). Initially, it was used to enhance the safety of medication orders. However, modern CPOE systems have been advanced to let electronic ordering of procedures, tests, and consultations. They aid in averting blunders at the transcribing and ordering stages by guaranteeing clear, standardized, and entire orders. Evaluating its effectiveness, CPOE provides various benefits over traditional paper-founded order-writing frameworks. Such advantages entail preventing flaws in handwriting, same drug names, specification mistakes, drug interactions, and integration with digital medical files. When supported with an early proof, the proposed benefits of CPOE act as a central part of the discussion for federal funding to aid in the extensive implementation of the technology. CPOE seems to be effective in averting medication-prescribing blunders. According to a 2013 meta-assessment, the employment of CPOE systems reduced the probability of a prescribing error by 48% unlike paper-centered orders, which mean several million medication blunders are averted annually in the United States healthcare facilities (Frisse et al., 2016, p. 230). Thus, the technology's effectiveness is unsurpassed.
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Barriers to Implementation
Although the computerized physician order entry technology offers a succinct and convincing mechanism for lessening medication errors and enhancing safety with substantial proof, there are several barriers to implementation and broad use. There is growing skepticism concerning its impact on clinical results. Another barrier to implementation is that most healthcare institutions lack the proper infrastructure to embrace the technology. There are increased costs of computerized physician order entry projects in healthcare. The lack of knowledge to operate it similarly poses another barrier. According to Mozaffar et al. (2016), a fundamental barrier may be the absence of user consciousness adjoining the features of packaged computerized physician order entry applications, ensuing on impractical expectations. Some systems require trained personnel, without whom they cannot be fully exploited or even managed. It represents a huge obstacle.
NYC Health + Hospitals
A hospital that has attempted and successfully applied the computerized physician order entry technology in its operations is NYC Health + Hospitals, which has implemented an advanced electronic media recording system that will facilitate care delivery and allow information access on its website. The technology at NYC Health + Hospitals relates to patient-centered care. Through it, patients are in a position to manage their health online (NYC Health + Hospitals, 2017, para. 1). The technology further harbors complex choice support tools with warning features to avert medication errors. However, the hospital experienced challenges when incorporating it.
At the hospital, the technology implementation journey was a success in the end. The application of CPOE proved to be a multifaceted procedure, and the facility experienced prominent disasters and safety risks that in some cases resulted in the desertion of the system. There were similarly some associated risks like the inability to warn physicians in time. Usually, CPOE risks are common and include a failure to detect and prevent particular medication errors (Slight et al., 2016, p. 312). However, NYC Health + Hospitals (2017) managed to incorporate clinical decision support into CPOE systems that helped alleviate implementation problems (para. 3). The system has brought considerable benefits, and the hospital management anticipates that in the future, many advantages of improved care will be realized. Though the technology appears to be working, improvements are needed. Since the establishment has increased familiarity with CPOE implementation, additional knowledge of the issues will aid to prevent challenges related to new expertise. The technology will similarly require much commitment regarding resources and time.
This report has identified medication errors in healthcare institutions as significant occurrences, which have adverse effects. Identifying flaws that cause mistakes and resolving them are appropriate preventive methods for the future (Stefanacci & Riddle, 2016, p. 307). The present report recommends that for reducing medication blunders in institutions, the computerized physician order entry technology should mostly be adopted. Consumers also need to keep a list of all their medications and seek the medicine there consume. Similarly, the given report recommends that the staff and most personnel should be trained on the appropriate use of the technology to ensure maximum exploitation. Healthcare institutions lacking the necessary infrastructure should seek assistance from federal, state, or non-governmental organizations to help create it and support the expertise since CPOE benefits surpass costs.
Medication errors represent a common phenomenon in healthcare institutions. With the growing number of patients, the rate of mistakes has increased, and therefore there is a need to mitigate errors. To achieve this, employing the computerized physician order entry technology will go a long way in reducing medication errors. It possesses many benefits among them being reducing medication errors, warning practitioners of blunders, and helping maintain clear medication records among others. However, implementing such technology is faced with several barriers like the lack of infrastructure and appropriate skills to operate it. Thus, to overcome the challenges, institutions are advised to seek help from various sources.