iHealth Beat reports (registration required) on a new study about the impact of CPOE on patient safety.
Researchers looked at 937 admissions and found 483 clinically significant adverse drug events, Reuters Health reports. Nine percent of those errors caused serious harm, and 33% resulted in further monitoring or interventions. Sixty-one percent of errors took place during ordering, and 25% occurred while monitoring (Reuters Health, 5/23).
Remember, it's just a tool...
UPDATE: ...and the tool may need improvements. According to Fierce Healthcare:
The conventional wisdom in health IT is that e-prescribing cuts down on preventable medical errors. A study done at the Salt Lake City VA Hospital appears to cast some doubt on that conclusion.
The study authors conclude that the CPOE application used lacks certain capabilities that would reduce the number of errors that are occurring. The abstract from the Archives of Internal Medicine is here (full text $12).