A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that a small group of primary care practices in New York that adopted electronic prescribing systems reduced their average prescribing error rate from 42.5 per 100 prescriptions to 6.6 for every 100 prescriptions over a one-year period, Reuters Health reports.
By comparison, practices that did not adopt e-prescribing systems saw their prescription error rates remain about the same over the year, increasing from 37% to 38%.
The study indicated that physician practices that used e-prescribing did not see a significant reduction in “near misses,” potentially harmful errors that either reached patients and did not result in harm or were caught before they reached patients. Practices that did not use e-prescribing experienced an increase in near misses, from 1% to 3% over the course of the year.
The study was conducted by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and was funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study looked at 12 primary care practices in rural and suburban areas in New York.