Introduction: Paper-based prescription orders, commonly having numerous medication errors,can increase adverse drug events (ADEs) and threaten patient’s safety. Computerized physician order entry (CPOE), as an appropriate alternative, can significantly reduce medication errors. This study aimed to investigate the effects of well-designed CPOE in reducing medication errors and ADEs.
Method: Electronic databases including EBSCO Host, Web of Science, PubMed, SID, Google Scholar, Iranmedex, Irandoc were used to conduct the literature review.We reviewed all the papers published about CPOE and its impacts on medication errors from 1998 until 2015. Thus 56 articles were found. Considering the relevance of their title and abstract with the objectives of study, and deleting repetitive cases, 32 articles were selected among which 10 articles were directly related to the objectives of the study.
Results: A number of studies indicate that CPOE can reduce the incidence of serious medication errors and ADEs. Nonetheless, there is evidence indicating that CPOE could negatively affect patient's health if the system is not well-designed.
Conclusion: The replacement of conventional, paper-based prescription orders with well-designed CPOEs in hospitals could play a key role in minimizing medication errors and improving patient safety. To this end, the CPOEs have to be designed according to recent standards and needs.
Keywords: Paper-based Prescriptions, Well-Designed CPOE, Medication Errors.