ePrescibing Errors Similar to Handwritten Prescriptions


This is an interesting piece of news. However, is anyone really surprised by it? Basically it says that when humans enter something, then they are prone to make mistakes. It doesn’t matter whether its on a computer or handwritten. Sounds about right to me. We’re human and we make mistakes.

Of course, the real question is going forward what can EMR vendors and ePrescribing companies do to change this result?

I also wish the study revealed which ePrescribing software had better results.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • John, you forget that the big selling point was that e-prescribing would decrease errors.

    If e-prescribing is already more expensive for many providers than paper, and they fail to improve the quality of care, why bother?

  • This study does not suggest that automated prescription systems are without merit compared to manual systems. Rather, it looked at some automated systems and found error rates from 5% to 38%, depending on the system.

    Importantly, they did not compare these errors to the error rates from manual systems – at least not in their abstract.

    What they do conclude is:

    The authors offer targeted recommendations on improving computerized prescribing systems to prevent errors.

    Hardly a condemnation of these systems.

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