The research, reported in today's online version of the journal Cancer (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/cancer-newsroom), was made possible by Dana-Farber and BWH leaders' decision to share drug-order and patient-safety records with investigators. Both hospitals are established leaders in efforts to reduce medication errors and heighten patient safety. The findings of the study have prompted both Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's to make changes in the hospital's automated drug order-entry system to further lessen the chance of mistakes.
"Our results show that while safeguards such as computerized order-entry systems used at both Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's significantly reduce drug-order errors, additional improvements are still possible, and necessary" says the study's co-lead author, Tejal Gandhi, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women's.
Adds co-lead author Sylvia Bartel, RPh, MHP, of Dana-Farber, "DFCI's leadership supported the in-depth review of all medication orders to gain information about potential system defects. The goal was to utilize the results of the study to make system improvements and ensure a safe medication process for our patients."
Previous studies have estimated that about five percent of drug orders for hospitalized patients have errors, but much less scie