Table 1

 Study characteristics

StudyType of wardHospitalSetting pre-interventionSetting post-interventionOther points of interestObservation period
Paoletti et al9Cardiac (telemetry)Medical-surgical20-bed cardiac ward 36-bed medicalSurgical ward in a general hospital, Lancaster, USADecentralised cabinet distribution systemHandwritten orderHandwritten paper MARDecentralised cabinet distribution systemHandwritten ordereMAR with pharmacist order entryBCMA1.5 year surveillance dataND
Poon et al10ICUMedicalSurgical35 units in a 735-bed tertiary academic medical centre, Boston, USACPOEMAR transcribed by nursesCPOEeMARBCMATranscription errorsSeverity classification of potential ADEs2 year surveillance data (in supplement)2–4 weeks before and 4–8 weeks afterwards. 4 h observation of staff nurses on 35 observed units
Franklin et al11Surgical28-bed ward in a teaching hospital, London, UKStock cupboards and two drug trolleysDrug prescription on paper MARADC and two electronic drug trolleysCPOE bar code scan used to confirm drug identity when loading medication into drawer ADC and for patient identificationeMAR with manual confirmation of administrationPrescribing errorsStaff time spent on medication tasksPotential severity assessment of observed errors3–6 months before and 6–12 months after.Sample of 56 drug rounds before and 55 after (including nights and weekends) during a 2-week period
Helmons et al12ICU (medical-surgical)Medical-surgical13- and 20-bedICU22-, 26-bed medical surgical ward in a 386-bed academic teaching ­hospital, San Diego, USAUnit-based ADCsCPOEPrinted paper MAR manually updatedUnit-based ADCsCPOEeMARBCMAMedication administration accuracyTime spent on medication tasks1 month before and 3 months after implementation. During week and weekend days focus on medication round 09:00
DeYoung et al13ICU38-bed medical ICU in a 744-bed community teaching hospital, Grand Rapids, USANDHandwritten or preprinted orders eMAR with pharmacist order entryBCMA1 month before and 4 months after. 24 h a day during 4 days
Morris14NICU36-bed ward in a children's hospital, Iowa City, USAHandwritten orders entered by pharmacist in pharmacy information systemPaper MAR on which orders were transcribed and administrations recordedHandwritten orders entered by pharmacist in pharmacy information systemeMAR bidirectionally interfaced with pharmacy information systemBCMASeverity assessment of observed preventable ADEs19 consecutive weeks before implementation and 1 month after implementation during 31 weeks
Ros et al, 20 Wesselink et al 21Neurological42-bed ward, community teaching hospital, Apeldoorn, The NetherlandsDispensing to the ward from pharmacy by drug trolleyCPOEeMAR with manual confirmation of administrationBAP cartCPOEeMARBCMATime spent on medication tasks1 year and 8 months before and 3 months after. Three daily medication rounds during 21 days
  • ADC, automated dispending cabinet; ADE, adverse drug events; BAP, bedside assortment picking; BCMA, bar code-assisted medication administration; CPOE, computerised physician order entry; eMAR, electronic medication administration record; ICU, intensive care unit; MAR, medication administration record; ND, not determined.