Information technology and medication safety: what is the benefit?

Qual Saf Health Care. 2002 Sep;11(3):261-5. doi: 10.1136/qhc.11.3.261.


Medication errors occur frequently and have significant clinical and financial consequences. Several types of information technologies can be used to decrease rates of medication errors. Computerized physician order entry with decision support significantly reduces serious inpatient medication error rates in adults. Other available information technologies that may prove effective for inpatients include computerized medication administration records, robots, automated pharmacy systems, bar coding, "smart" intravenous devices, and computerized discharge prescriptions and instructions. In outpatients, computerization of prescribing and patient oriented approaches such as personalized web pages and delivery of web based information may be important. Public and private mandates for information technology interventions are growing, but further development, application, evaluation, and dissemination are required.

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
  • Ambulatory Care Information Systems
  • Clinical Pharmacy Information Systems*
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical
  • Drug Prescriptions / standards
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease / prevention & control
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Medication Systems, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • United States