EHR-related medication errors in two ICUs

Pascale Carayon, Shimeng Du, Roger Brown, Randi Cartmill, Mark Johnson, Tosha B. Wetterneck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to describe the frequency, potential harm, and nature of electronic health record (EHR)-related medication errors in intensive care units (ICUs). Using a secondary data analysis of a large database of medication safety events collected in a study on EHR technology in ICUs, we assessed the EHR relatedness of a total of 1622 potential preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) identified in a sample of 624 patients in 2 ICUs of a medical center. Thirty-four percent of the medication events were found to be EHR related. The EHR-related medication events had greater potential for more serious patient harm and occurred more frequently at the ordering stage as compared to non-EHR-related events. Examples of EHR-related events included orders with omitted information and duplicate orders. The list of EHR-related medication errors can be used by health care delivery organizations to monitor implementation and use of the technology and its impact on patient safety. Health information technology (IT) vendors can use the list to examine whether their technology can mitigate or reduce EHR-related medication errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of healthcare risk management : the journal of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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