A piece in Forbes this week details the issue of medication errors in hospitals. The writer touches on the fact that even just a decimal misplacement can lead to death and that 1 million errors and 7,000 resulting deaths occur yearly.
Yet the solution – computerized physician order entry (CPOE) – to combat errors isn’t particularly innovative. For those that don’t know (and the Forbes piece does not touch on this), the federal government began mandating use of electronic medical records since President Obama took office, and now 69 percent of physicians have such systems in place. The push toward electronic records is one effort to modernize the country’s healthcare system, and by 2015, hospitals and physicians will face penalties for not adopting EMRs.