Requiring providers to re-enter patient ID numbers in computerized physician order entry systems significantly reduced the number of wrong-patient orders in a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
The New York-based researchers used a retract-and-reorder measurement tool to determine the reasons for wrong-patient orders, then set up a three-pronged study to look at two possible solutions compared with no intervention: a single-click confirmation of patient identity and requiring that the ID number be re-entered.
The one-year study comprised an estimated 5,246 wrong-patient orders that were quickly corrected. In phone interviews, 170 of 223 retract-and-reorder events were identified as wrong-patient orders. Providers were then asked whether the errors were the result of juxtaposition, interruption or other factors. And 23.8 percent of the events were not errors at all, but providers quickly changing their orders.
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