Updated information from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey finds that a lack of testing and monitoring of Health IT by hospitals and vendors potentially jeopardizes patients. Two years ago, 214 hospitals used Leapfrog’s web-based simulation tool to test the ability of their computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems to catch common medication errors, including errors that could lead to fatalities. The hospitals found their systems on average missed half of the routine medication orders and a third of the potentially fatal orders. Nearly all of the hospitals improved their performance after adjusting their systems and protocols and running the simulation a second time. In a similar test conducted over the last nine months of 2011 by 253 hospitals, the missed routine medication orders dropped to slightly more than a third and the fatal orders plummeted to just over one percent.
The CPOE evaluation tool used by the hospitals is the only one of its kind available today. It is developed by TMIT with guidance from Dr. David Bates, Dr. David Classen, Jane Metzger, and other researchers, with original funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and others. The hospitals that took the test are voluntary respondents to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, a national patient safety survey that measures and publicly reports on how well patients fare, resources used to care for patients, and management practices that promote safety. The hospitals that participate in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey are considered among the most advanced in the country in their use of information systems.