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Driving out errors through tight integration between software and automation.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of healthcare information management : JHIM
Publication Date
Volume
20
Issue
4
Pages
35–39
Identifiers
PMID: 17091788
Source
Medline

Abstract

A clear case has been made for using clinical IT to improve medication safety, particularly bar-code point-of-care medication administration and computerized practitioner order entry (CPOE) with clinical decision support. The equally important role of automation has been overlooked. When the two are tightly integrated, with pharmacy information serving as a hub, the distinctions between software and automation become blurred. A true end-to-end medication management system drives out errors from the dockside to the bedside. Presbyterian Healthcare Services in Albuquerque has been building such a system since 1999, beginning by automating pharmacy operations to support bar-coded medication administration. Encouraged by those results, it then began layering on software to further support clinician workflow and improve communication, culminating with the deployment of CPOE and clinical decision support. This combination, plus a hard-wired culture of safety, has resulted in a dramatically lower mortality and harm rate that could not have been achieved with a partial solution.

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