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Qual Saf Health Care. 2010 Aug;19(4):337-40. doi: 10.1136/qshc.2009.033068.

Paediatric dosing errors before and after electronic prescribing.

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  • 1Centre for Paediatric Pharmacy Research, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK.



To compare the incidence and severity rating of dose prescribing errors before and after the implementation of a commercially available electronic prescribing system at a tertiary care children's hospital.


Dose errors were identified using prescription review to detect errors. Severity rating was determined by five judges using a validated, reliable scoring tool. The mean score for each error was used as an index of severity.


Dose prescribing errors occurred in 88 of the 3939 (2.2%) items prescribed for outpatients and inpatients, and on discharge prescriptions prior to the implementation of electronic prescribing (EP). After EP, there were 57 dose errors in 4784 (1.2%) items prescribed (1% absolute reduction (p<0.001 chi(2) test; 95% CI of difference in proportions -1.6% to -0.5%)). A decrease in the severity rating of dose errors was also seen: dose errors with potentially minor outcomes 35/3939 (0.89%) pre vs 21/4784 (0.44%) post (95% CI of difference in proportions -0.8% to -0.11%, p=0.009 chi(2) test); moderate outcome 46/3939 (1.17%) pre vs 33/4784 (0.69%) post (95% CI of difference in proportions -0.91% to -0.08, p=0.019, chi(2) test); severe outcome: 7/3939 (0.18%) pre vs 3/4784 (0.06%) post (95% CI of difference in proportions -0.31% to +0.04, p=0.11, chi(2) test).


Electronic prescribing appears to reduce rates of dosing errors in paediatrics, but larger studies are required to assess the effect on the severity of these errors and in different settings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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