pill dispenser

Fewer Errors Seen in Computerized Prescribing System
That Selects
Medications Based on Indications

A Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system that incorporated drug indications into prescription ordering workflows improved clinicians’ efficiency and lowered prescribing errors compared with two leading commercial CPOE systems, according to an AHRQ-funded project that developed and tested the model.

“Many patients do not know why they need to take the medication prescribed for them. Despite recommendations to include the indication for prescribed medications, the indication is rarely included with a medication list or prescription. Lack of knowledge as to why prescribed medications are necessary is one of the primary reasons Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital or visit the Emergency Department (ED).  A solution is being tested in a study of outpatient settings that includes documentation of the medication indication in the EHR before the prescribed medication,” shared Paula Sitzman, RN, BSN; Great Plains QIN Quality Improvement Advisor.

Current CPOE systems do not effectively support adding indications to prescriptions. The CPOE system developed by researchers gave clinicians the option of starting with the indication and allowing the system to offer alternatives for common primary care problems, such as poorly controlled hypertension, migraine prevention, gout flare and newly diagnosed diabetes. In addition to requiring fewer clicks and less time to complete orders, the prototype resulted in fewer errors.

Access the abstract of the study published in JAMA Network Open. 

The Great Plains QIN is partnering with healthcare providers in our region to develop ways to avoid medication safety issues. We are also working to provide education and tools to help individuals better manage and communicate the medications prescribed. We hope, through these efforts, individuals will have better health outcomes and avoid unnecessary medical care. If you want to be more connected and have accesses to resources, education and information on medication safety  and other related topics, join the Great Plains Learning and Action Network.