Printed Prescriptions

Seems like all my families doctors have switched over to computerized, rather than handwritten, prescriptions.  This is a very good thing.  Sarah Kliff hit upon this first, but Drum does a better job summarizing (I hope that doesn’t make me sexist):

Today Sarah Kliff points us to an Australian study that quantifies this. In two different hospitals, researchers replaced handwritten records with electronic records in some wards but not in others. Then they measured prescribing errors per 100 patient days. Here are the results:

  • Hospital A: Errors reduced from 51 —> 17
  • Hospital B1: Errors reduced from 39 —> 10
  • Hospital B2: Errors reduced from 48 —> 17

Wow!!  Those our absolutely huge results.  And results that have a hugely meaningful positive impact on people’s health (i.e., getting the wrong drug can be very not good).   I wonder what other wonders can be worked from the move to electronic records.  This improvement is just awesome.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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