Electronic system helps Wesley reduce medication errors

06/16/2014 10:05 AM

08/08/2014 10:24 AM

An electronic physician-order-entry system that was implemented about a year ago at Wesley Medical Center has reduced medication errors by more than 60 percent, officials say.

Medication errors include things such as delivering a wrong dose, delivering a wrong medication, omitting a prescribed medication or delaying delivery of a medication, said Leslie Eidem, pharmacy manager at Wesley.

The hospital implemented the system in June and July 2013, phasing it in with small groups of physicians, Eidem said.

One of the biggest advantages electronic order entry has over paper charts is no longer having to decipher illegible handwriting.

“We had some decimal errors related to handwriting where someone wrote ‘.1’ instead of ‘0.1’ so it looks like ‘1.’ Or ‘1U’ can be read as ‘10.’ The other area is just transcribing errors from paper to paper,” Eidem said.

The electronic system also helps get orders to other providers more quickly by notifying them as soon as an order is entered, Eidem said.

“We measured a 40 percent time reduction in turnover for medical orders being completed,” Eidem said.

Wesley Medical Center gives 3.6 million doses of medication each year, Eidem said.

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