Background Prescribing errors in hospitalised patients in pulmonary units have a high incidence due to the complexity of their pharmacotherapy.
Purpose The goal of this study was to assess differences in prescribing errors between manual and electronic prescriptions.
Material and methods Longitudinal, prospective, controlled study of medical prescriptions registered in the pharmacy department during the implementation period of a computerised order entry in a pulmonary unit of a tertiary hospital.
Prescribing errors in hospitalised patients were analysed in three periods of 1 week: the week before the implementation of the computerised order entry (MP: control group) and the last weeks of the first and second months after implementation of the system (EP1 and EP2: experimental groups).
Results 3257 drugs prescribed in 309 different therapy orders were analysed (medium of 10.5 drugs per patient). 422 prescribing errors were detected, 352 (34.9%) in the first phase of the study, corresponding to manual prescriptions (MP), 45 (4.1%) a month after implementation of the electronic prescription (EP1) and 25 (2.2%) 2 months after the implementation (EP2).
This reduction was statistically significant (p < 0.001) when comparing results in the MP phase with results in the EP1 and EP2 phases.
These figures represent a relative risk reduction of 88.2% when comparing EP1 versus MP, 93.7% comparing EP2 versus MP and 46% comparing EP2 versus EP1.
Most of the prescribing errors were related to posology, basically to dose and units of measurement.
When using a computerised order entry in pulmonary hospitalised patients, the number of drug prescribing errors significantly decreases.
Reduction in prescribing errors is basically due to drug posology (dose and units of measurement).
References and/or Acknowledgements Pneumology unit staff.
No conflict of interest.
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