JAMA study criticizes slow improvement in medical errors

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association asks if enough is being done to avoid medical errors. The study, led by Daniel Longo of the University of Missouri-Columbia, looked at policies at all acute care facilities in Utah and Missouri in 2002 and 2004. Researchers found that only 3 percent of hospitals have policies in place that require doctors to order prescriptions using CPOE systems. That in itself isn't unusual. On the other hand, some of the survey's other findings on the overall slowness in implementing safety measures are likely to surprise observers. Utah is generally considered a leader in safety and technology adoption. Expect this story to feed the buzz generated by last week's study in Pediatrics on CPOE errors.

- see this article from The Salt Lake Tribune
- read the abstract for "The Long Road to Patient Safety"