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Published on 11 October 2010

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Prescription software cuts errors


An electronic prescribing system at a Birmingham hospital could stop up to 146,000 medication mistakes every year.

University Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) has been using the in-house software, which is believed to cut up to 400 mistakes a day – reducing administration, prescribing and monitoring errors by 66%.

Pics (Prescribing Information and Communications System) uses data from laboratory systems, diagnoses and co-morbidities to provide health professionals with drug interactions, contra-indications and dose limits.

The Pics system helps to ensure the correct medicine can be delivered in the most efficient way to improve the care afforded to patients.

UHB medical director, Dr David Rosser, said: “We understand that it is the first time in the world that a computer has automatically prescribed medication before a doctor prescribing it.

“Medication errors are one of the major preventable sources of harm in healthcare. As medicines are the commonest form of treatment and the most expensive part of healthcare after staff costs, there is huge scope to significantly reduce risk and cost.”

Copyright Press Association 2010


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