Error reduction in pediatric chemotherapy: computerized order entry and failure modes and effects analysis

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 May;160(5):495-8. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.160.5.495.


Objective: To implement and evaluate the impact of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) on reducing ordering errors in pediatric chemotherapy.

Design: Before-and-after study from 2001 to 2004.

Setting: Pediatric Oncology in an academic medical center.

Intervention: Implementation of a CPOE system guided by multidisciplinary failure modes and effects analysis into pediatric chemotherapy.

Main outcome measures: Completion data on chemotherapy steps of high morbidity/mortality potential if missed (as determined by attending oncologists) from 1259 pre-CPOE paper and 1116 post-CPOE pediatric chemotherapy orders.

Results: After CPOE deployment, daily chemotherapy orders were less likely to have improper dosing (relative risk [RR], 0.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.11-0.61), incorrect dosing calculations (RR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.03-0.34), missing cumulative dose calculations (RR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.14-0.77), and incomplete nursing checklists (RR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.33-0.80). There was no difference in the likelihood of improper dosing on treatment plans and a higher likelihood of not matching medication orders to treatment plans (RR, 5.4; 95% CI, 3.1-9.5).

Conclusion: Failure modes and effects analysis-guided CPOE reduced ordering errors in pediatric chemotherapy and provided data for further improvements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Baltimore
  • Child
  • Clinical Pharmacy Information Systems / organization & administration*
  • Drug Therapy, Computer-Assisted / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Medical Audit
  • Medical Order Entry Systems / organization & administration*
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Patient Care Team
  • User-Computer Interface


  • Antineoplastic Agents