Computer Entry a Leading Cause of Medication Errors in U.S. Health Systems -- Percentage of Reported Errors Steadily Increased from 1999 to 2003. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) reported today that despite the perception that technology is the panacea that will improve patient safety and reduce medication errors, nearly 20 percent of hospital and health system medication errors reported to USP’s MEDMARX SM program in 2003 involved computerization or automation. However, facilities that have implemented computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) reported fewer harmful errors. According to the 2003 data, automated dispensing devices (ADDs) were implicated in almost 9,000 medication error events with 1.3 percent of those errors leading to patient harm. [The Informatics Review]

Just another indication (reinforced repeatedly at <a href="">HISTALK</a>) that automation is no silver bullet for improving outcomes.