Medication errors can lead to significant morbidity and mortality for patients. Children are particularly vulnerable to medication errors. A strategy for reducing medication errors and the harm resulting from these errors is use of computerized provider order entry (CPOE). This article examines the frequency and nature of prescribing errors for pediatric patients. Also discussed are the proposed benefits from CPOE use, including elimination of eligibility errors, ensuring completeness in prescribing fields, reduction in transcription errors, and improved prescribing practices through the use of clinical decision support. The literature on the effect of CPOE in actual use is explored, as are policy implications and directions for future research.
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