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J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Jan;40(1):57-9.

The impact of hospitalwide computerized physician order entry on medical errors in a pediatric hospital.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



Medication errors contribute significantly to the morbidity and costs of pediatric health care. The authors hypothesized that hospitalwide computerized physician order entry (CPOE) in a pediatric hospital would lead to a decrease in medication errors.


The authors retrospectively evaluated and prospectively analyzed inpatient discharge and usage and adverse drug event (ADE) rate data pre- and postintroduction of a hospitalwide implementation of CPOE in a tertiary care pediatric hospital. They compared pre- and postintervention ADEs (Student's t test) and computed the number needed to treat (NNT) analog.


Over the 9-month study period, there were 45,615 in patient days and 8619 discharges. Pre-CPOE verbal order regulatory compliance was 80%, whereas post-CPOE increased to 95%. Transcription errors were eliminated. All ADEs pre-CPOE were 0.3 +/- 0.04 per 1000 doses, whereas post-CPOE ADEs were 0.37 +/- 0.05 per 1000 doses (P = .3). Harmful ADEs pre-CPOE were 0.05 +/- 0.017 per 1000 doses, while post-CPOE ADEs were 0.03 +/- 0.003 per 1000 doses (P = .05). Our NNT data demonstrate that CPOE would prevent 1 ADE every 64 (95% CI 25-100) patient days.


CPOE decreases harmful ADEs in a pediatric hospital, thus leading to increased patient safety. In addition, CPOE provides an automated system for monitoring and improving health care quality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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