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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2018 Dec 1;75(23):1909-1921. doi: 10.2146/ajhp170870.

Systematic review of computerized prescriber order entry and clinical decision support.

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Pharmacy Department, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain
Pharmacy Department, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.



Results of a systematic review of published data on the effect of computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) with clinical decision support on medication error (ME) and adverse drug event (ADE) rates are presented.


Literature searches of MEDLINE, Embase, and other databases were conducted to identify English- and Spanish-language articles on selected CPOE outcomes published from 1995 through 2016; in addition, 5 specific journals were searched for pertinent articles published during the period 2010-16. Publications on controlled prospective studies and before-and-after studies that assessed MEs and/or ADEs as main outcomes were selected for inclusion in the review.


Nineteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Data on MEs and ADEs could not be pooled, mainly due to heterogeneity in outcome definitions and study methodologies. The reviewed evidence indicated that CPOE implementation led to an overall reduction in errors at the prescription stage of the medication-use process (relative risk reduction, 0.29 [95% confidence interval, 0.10-0.85]; I 2 = 99%) and reductions in most types of prescription errors, but CPOE also resulted in the emergence of other types of errors.


CPOE reduces the overall ME rate in the prescription process, as well as specific types of errors, such as wrong dose or strength, wrong drug, frequency, administration route, and drug-drug interaction errors. The implementation of CPOE can lead to new errors, such as wrong drug selection from drop-down menus.


adverse drug reactions; computerized prescriber order entry; decision support systems; medication errors; patient safety; systematic review


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