Date of Graduation

Fall 2009


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope


medication errors in pediatrics, CPOE and pediatrics, medication safety in pediatrics, CPOE, medication errors

Subject Categories



In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report stating, "Every year in the United States 44,000 to 98,000 die from medical harm, with medication errors accounting for 7,000 of those deaths”. Little research has been done regarding medication safety and the pediatric population. The pediatric population is at an increase risk for harm due to do many factors, such as the need for constant dosing calculations based on a patient's weight, age, and total body surface area. Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) is a promising intervention used to decrease prescribing errors and increase patient safety. CPOE is defined as a computer-based system that integrates with other technology systems to optimize the order of medications by providers. CPOE systems are able to incorporate information from an electronic health record to help assure safe practices with the entire medication process. The research question is: What is the effect of CPOE on medication error rates, types of medication errors, and severity of errors in a pediatric intensive care unit? The setting for this study is a pediatric intensive care unit in a large Midwest private hospital. Data related to medication errors was collected and analyzed two months prior to and two months after the implementation of CPOE. Results of this study showed no significant impact on medication error rate (p = 0.157), types of medication errors (p = 0.220), or severity of medication errors (p = 0.065). Implications for nursing include increasing awareness of medication errors, emphasis on critical thinking skills and not just on technology, awareness of warning fatigue, and responsibility of continuing education with CPOE technology.


© Mandi L. Barnes

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