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Qual Saf Health Care. 2009 Jun;18(3):165-8. doi: 10.1136/qshc.2009.034041.

Are verbal orders a threat to patient safety?

Author information

1
Department of Health Management and Informatics, University of Missouri Center for Health Care Quality, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA. wakefielddo@health.missouri.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The use of verbal orders has been identified as a potential contributor to poor quality and less safe care. As a result, many organisations have encouraged changing the verbal orders process and/or reducing/eliminating verbal orders altogether (Joint Commission (2005), Institute of Medicine (2001), Leapfrog organisation, Institute of Safe Medication Practices). Ironically there is a paucity of research evidence to support the widespread concern over verbal order.

AIMS:

This paper describes the very limited existing research on verbal orders, presents a model of verbal order use identifying potential error trigger points and suggests a verbal order research agenda in order to better understand the nature and extent of the potential patient care safety threat posed by verbal orders.

PMID:
19467996
DOI:
10.1136/qshc.2009.034041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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