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Reducing prescribing errors: making electronic prescribing work for cystic fibrosis inpatients
  1. Emma Rebecca Vittery1,
  2. Emily Bayliss2,
  3. Andrew Heed3,
  4. Claire Fagan4,
  5. Matthew Thomas4,5,
  6. Yincent Tse5,6
  1. 1 Clinical Genetics, Northern Genetics Service, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatric Pharmacy, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3 Department of Clinical Informatics Pharmacy, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  4. 4 Department of Respiratory Paediatrics, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  5. 5 Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  6. 6 Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yincent Tse, Lead for Quality and Safety, Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK; yincenttse{at}nhs.net

Abstract

Children admitted to our hospital with cystic fibrosis had frequent medication errors due to polypharmacy and addition of specialist and high-risk medications despite an electronic prescribing and medicines administration system in place. We describe a multidisciplinary quality improvement project that combined a computerised order entry system (CPOE) with human factor process changes. Over 12 months, our run chart showed a 43% reduction in prescription errors. For medications prescribable via the CPOE, errors reaching the patient reduced from 50% to 29%. Electronic prescribing can be seen by clinicians as a fixed unalterable system contributing to rather than ameliorating errors. Improving safety requires whole team engagement and working closely with programmers to adapt function and influence human factors.

  • information technology
  • pharmacology
  • cystic fibrosis

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Not applicable.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Not applicable.

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @YincentTse

  • Contributors All authors planned and carried out the project and interventions jointly. AH implemented e-prescribing/CPOE changes. EB carried out all data collection. ERV and EB carried out all analysis. ERV lead on writing the manuscript with input from all authors, particularly MT and YT.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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