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
- cystic fibrosis
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. Not applicable.
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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.