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Electronic prescribing systems boost efficiency, may lead to improved quality of care
Date:5/4/2009

ically or by hidden observation.

There were 1,836,239 orders placed during the implementation process. Six months before the implementation of the system, 15 medication errors were identified (0.22 percent), and no trends were noted in these errors. After implementation of the system, 10 errors (0.16 percent) occurred during the first six months. During the second six months, 13 errors (0.21 percent) were noted. Rates of medication errors were not statistically significantly different during any of these time periods. Researchers stated that a low baseline rate of errors before implementation of the system may have been a contributing factor to the lack of improvement.

Before the implementation of the electronic prescribing system, the time required for a provider to place an order was 41.2 minutes. With the system, this time decreased to only 27 seconds (p<0.01). Additionally, personnel were no longer required to clarify and transcribe written orders into an accessible format. Due to the decreased work load, 11 of 56 (19.6 percent) personnel positions were eliminated, translating to a yearly financial benefit of $445,500. The total capital cost for the implementation project was $2.9 million, with additional operating cost of $2.3 million.


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