Factors contributing to medication errors made when using computerized order entry in pediatrics: a systematic review

Clare L. Tolley, Niamh E. Forde, Katherine L. Coffey, Dean F. Sittig, Joan Ash, Andrew K. Husband, David W. Bates, Sarah P. Slight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify and understand the factors that contribute to medication errors associated with the use of computerized provider order entry (CPOE) in pediatrics and provide recommendations on how CPOE systems could be improved. Materials and Methods: We conducted a systematic literature review across 3 large databases: the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Embase, and Medline. Three independent reviewers screened the titles, and 2 authors then independently reviewed all abstracts and full texts, with 1 author acting as a constant across all publications. Data were extracted onto a customized data extraction sheet, and a narrative synthesis of all eligible studies was undertaken. Results: A total of 47 articles were included in this review. We identified 5 factors that contributed to errors with the use of a CPOE system: (1) lack of drug dosing alerts, which failed to detect calculation errors; (2) generation of inappropriate dosing alerts, such as warnings based on incorrect drug indications; (3) inappropriate drug duplication alerts, as a result of the system failing to consider factors such as the route of administration; (4) dropdown menu selection errors; and (5) system design issues, such as a lack of suitable dosing options for a particular drug. Discussion and Conclusions: This review highlights 5 key factors that contributed to the occurrence of CPOE-related medication errors in pediatrics. Dosing support is the most important. More advanced clinical decision support that can suggest doses based on the drug indication is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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