A new study issued by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based employer-backed health advocacy organization, reports that health information technology could inadvertently result in harm to patients without proper monitoring.
The report urges federal officials to build oversight requirements into health care IT regulations now being made in Washington. The report also recommends actions that hospitals and CPOE technology companies should take to assure the quality and safety of these systems.
214 hospitals tested their computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems using a web-based simulation tool for their ability to catch common medication errors, including errors that could be potentially fatal. The CPOE systems on average missed one-half of the routine medication orders and a third of the potentially fatal orders. Almost all hospitals improved their results after adjusting their system and protocols and running the system a second time. The simulations were conducted from June 2008 to January 2010.