AIM: High Rates of Adverse Drug Events in a Highly Computerized Hospital

Wired news has a mass-media article on an Archives of Internal Medicine report about high rates of adverse drug effects in a hospital that is highly computerized. From the Wired article: ‘…At the Salt Lake City hospital, for instance, health workers ordered the wrong drugs, ordered the wrong doses and failed to monitor patients properly. Ninety-one percent of the 483 mishaps were moderately harmful, and 9 percent were serious, according to the researchers…If you think your own neighborhood hospital might do a better job than the hospital in the study, think again. Sure, the Salt Lake City facility is part of the frequently maligned VA system. But VA hospitals are widely lauded for their advanced medical technology and commitment to reducing medical errors.

In fact, the chances are good that your local hospital is still behind the times on the technology front…’ The inside scoop: they are using VistA. Is VistA is to blame? Probably not as this study counts such events for the first time. It is possible that in other hospitals without such capability the problem doesn’t exist because it cannot or is not measured. Thanks to Nancy Anthracite for this link.

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