Adverse drug reactions (ADR) and medication errors (ME) are common and an important reason for morbidity and mortality of patients in hospitals. Particularly vulnerable are severely ill patients as well as newborns and children. There is evidence that medication errors occur up to three times more often in hospitalised children and adolescents than in adults.
The reasons for this might be the lack of age-appropriate dosage forms, complex, individual dose calculations as well as the frequent off-label use of drugs, as approved dosing information are missing. At this, the prescribing and administration process is particularly prone to errors.
Not all medication errors finally reach the patient, nevertheless in order to prevent harm, it is important to identify the potential causes of harm and to develop strategies for prevention.
The use of electronic prescribing systems (computerised physician order entry systems) has great potential to reduce problems related to the prescribing of drugs and thus to increase the safety of drug therapy.
Hence, the system VMobil® (which offers the functionality of electronic prescribing and documentation) has been successively introduced at the Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
AVOID is a prospective cohort study with the aim to systematically investigate adverse drug events before and after the implementation of the electronic prescribing system VMobil® on a general paediatric ward. It is anticipated that a comparison of the results shows the effectiveness of the system to improve the safety of pharmacotherapy in paediatrics.