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New Leapfrog Report: A Call to Action on Improving the Safety of Computerized Prescribing Systems
Date:6/30/2010

g errors that could lead to fatalities. The CPOE systems on average missed one-half of the routine medication orders and a third of the potentially fatal orders. Nearly all of the hospitals improved their performance after adjusting their systems and protocols and running the simulation a second time. The simulations were conducted from June 2008 to January 2010.

"Although this is a simulation using fictitious patients and medication orders, it should be a red flag for every hospital and information technology company in America," said Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder.  "The belief that simply buying and installing health information technology will automatically lead to safer and better care is a myth.  Hospitals and vendors must continue to work together over time to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of CPOE," Binder noted.  

The CPOE simulation is part of the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey.  According to Leapfrog, 26% of the 1244 hospitals that completed the survey in 2009 report having a CPOE system in at least one inpatient department. The Health Information & Management Systems Society notes that thousands more are in various stages of adopting or planning for these complex systems. Hospital critics have long criticized the field for being too slow to adopt technology to improve care and save money.  With about two-thirds of hospitals either losing money or existing on minimal margins, many say they need help to bring the technology to their communities.

"The federal government must exercise leadership here, because lives are at stake," stated Leapfrog Chairman David Knowlton, President and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. "As they define meaningful use as a standard for federal funding assis
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SOURCE The Leapfrog Group
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