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It has been a very long time since hospital pharmacists only moved medication boxes around. For a long time now, the primary focus has been on quality care and patient safety. A few hospital pharmacies have obtained quality standard labels such as ISO 9001, NIAZ and JCI.
A short literature review on analysis of what causes medication errors shows that they most often occur at the moment of prescription or transcription and during drug administration. Therefore, the improvement of these processes will have a considerable impact on the optimisation of pharmaceutical care.
Electronic prescription has a legal basis in Belgium regarding authenticity of the medical prescription through ‘third party trusted time stamping’.A growing number of hospitals are implementing computerised physician order entry (CPOE). Using this system the prescription is clearly readable and the relevant data are also available in a structured way, which enhances the distribution process and allows for the implementation of prescription assistance (figure 1).
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