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Ann Intern Med. 1975 Sep;83(3):342-6.

A highly automated hospital medication system. Five years' experience and evaluation.


Since 1969, medications have been provided to patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital using a computer system that controls the entire medication process from entry of physician's order to hourly drug distribution. Special envelopes containing patient and dosage information are computer generated for each dose to be administered. These envelopes, containing individually labelled ready-to-administer doses, are delivered to the nursing units hourly. The system provides daily medication profiles, drug administration histories, discharge summaries, and management and billing reports. Medication errors of commission were 4.6 times more frequent on the traditional nursing units compared to the units with the computer system. Registered nurses spend 56% less time performing medication-related activities on the units served by the computer. For 250 beds, total costs are 7% higher using the computer system. For 450 beds, total costs are 14% lower using the computer system.

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