- A new report by the Leapfrog Group says computer systems designed to reduce drug errors fail to catch all harmful or deadly medication orders.
- The report analyzed data from 1,750 U.S. hospitals that responded to the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey and found computerized physician order entry systems missed 39% of potentially harmful drug orders.
- The analysis was released in conjunction with Medication Safety Awareness Week.
According to the report, CPOEs also failed to trigger an alert for 13% of potentially fatal drug orders. The analysis was performed by San Francisco-based Castlight Health.
“Hospitals spend millions of dollars to implement CPOE systems, but our results clearly show that many hospitals’ systems are not operating as well as they should, putting patients’ lives at risk,” Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder said in a release summarizing the survey results.
Other survey findings included:
- 96% of hospitals now report having a CPOE system, fueled by federal investment in hospital IT infrastructure;
- 64% of hospitals fully meet Leapfrog’s standard for CPOE implementation and quality, which requires hospitals to place 75% of drug orders through a CPOE and demonstrate it alerts doctors to 50% of common, serious prescription errors;
- 62% of hospitals conduct all recommended medication reconciliation activities, and nearly all have processes for documenting patients’ medications at admission and sharing updated medication lists with doctors and patients at discharge; and
- Only 88% of hospitals allocated staff time or a budget to developing best practices.
Georgia, Maine and New York had the highest proportion of hospitals meeting its CPOE standard, while Indiana and Nevada finished last.
Among the most commonly missed errors were diagnosis, kidney function, and monitoring, according to Healthcare Informatics.