Addition of electronic prescription transmission to computerized prescriber order entry: Effect on dispensing errors in community pharmacies

Moniz, Thomas T.; Seger, Andrew C.; Keohane, Carol A.; Seger, Diane Lew; Bates, David W.; Rothschild, Jeffrey M.
January 2011
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;1/15/2011, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p158
Academic Journal
Purpose. The addition of electronic prescription transmission to computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) and its effect on dispensing errors in community pharmacies were evaluated. Methods. A controlled, before-and-after trial to measure the effect of electronic prescribing on dispensing errors in two control clinics and one e-prescribing clinic already using CPOE was conducted between January and November 2006. Prescriptions documented within the CPOE system were reconciled with dispensed prescription information from participating pharmacy chains via a national pharmacy information exchange network. Dispensing errors were defined as discrepancies between the prescriber's written orders and the dispensed prescription information. Prescriptions filled at nonparticipating pharmacies were not analyzed. Results. A total of 11,447 prescriptions were written in the control clinics, and 29,575 were written in the e-prescribing clinic. During the intervention period, 2,179 (22%) of 9,905 intervention clinic prescriptions were electronically transmitted, including 621 (28%) available for analysis. There was no significant difference in the dispensing-error rates between the baseline and intervention periods for the control clinics. Similarly, the dispensing-error rates did not differ significantly for the e-prescribing clinic between the baseline and intervention periods for prescriptions that were not electronically transmitted. The e-prescribing clinic's dispensing-error rate for electronically transmitted prescriptions during the intervention was significantly lower than its baseline dispensing-error rate (p = 0.03). Conclusion. Electronic transmission of prescription data from physicians' offices to a pharmacy nearly halved the risk of dispensing errors compared with generating the prescription with outpatient CPOE and printing it and giving it to the patient.


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