Electronic Medical Records and Medication Errors

Angie SzumlinskiHealth, Studies

Although many feel the electronic MAR is a solution to medication errors, a recent study performed by Australian Health Review 43(3) 276-283 and shared by the AHRQ may change your opinion! Yes, the electronic MAR may “notify” you when a medication is missed, late, unavailable, etc. however it isn’t without shortcomings!

Some new medication errors have been identified and are likely to occur more frequently with eMMS Click To Tweet

For example, this study found that incorrect medication dose or form may be selected from drop down menus and duplicate orders for the same medication may occur due to fragmented screen design. Whatever the error, our goal is to reduce the risk of errors that may lead to negative resident outcomes. Please continue to be vigilant when introducing and utilizing new technology. Some programs will reduce the risk of human errors but raise risk in other areas!

Take a few minutes on a scheduled basis to audit, discuss and plan for preventing errors and/or addressing them if they do occur. Train your staff to be aware that electronic MARs may not be the end all and of course, continue to provide quality care to your residents from basic ADLs to medication management!

To review the entire study/abstract please click the link below.