RCHE Publications


It is estimated that over three-quarters of a million people are injured or die in hospitals ‎each year from adverse drug events (ADE’s). The majority of medical errors result form ‎poorly designed healthcare systems rather than from negligence on the part of healthcare ‎providers. In general, healthcare systems rely on voluntary reporting, which seriously ‎underestimates the number of medication errors and ADE’s by as much as 90%. This ‎paper reviews the causes and impact of medication errors and ADE's. It also reports ‎studies that have used information technology (IT) to detect and prevent medication ‎errors and ADE’s. Significant reduction of medication errors and ADE’s requires ‎systemic implementation of IT, improvements in the reporting of errors, and integration ‎of the components of the healthcare systems’ information systems. At the present time, ‎most healthcare systems should be able to use IT to detect and prevent ADE’s. ‎


adverse drug effects, medication errors, reporting of errors, systemic implementation of IT

Date of this Version

August 2004