Patient Safety

Pediatric Dose Calculation Issues and the Need for Human Factors–Informed Preventative Technology Optimizations

Publication Date Jun 17, 2022


Background: Dose calculation errors are one of the most common types of medication errors impacting children and they can result in significant harm. Technology-based solutions, such as computerized provider order entry, can effectively reduce dose calculation issues; however, these technologies are not always optimized, resulting in potential benefits not being fully realized. Methods: We analyzed pediatric dose-related patient safety event reports submitted to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System using a task-analytic approach that focused on information being used in the dose calculation, calculation errors during ordering, and errors during dose preparation or administration. From these reports, we identified whether the patient was impacted by the error, the type of medication involved, and whether a technology optimization could have mitigated the issue. Results: Of the 356 reports reviewed, 326 (91.6%) met the criteria for a dose calculation issue. The 326 reports meeting criteria had the following dose calculation issue types: wrong information used in the calculation (49 of 326, 15.0%), incorrect calculation during ordering (97 of 326, 29.8%), and calculated dose was not properly used or incorrect calculation during preparation/administration (180 of 326, 55.2%). Most of these dose calculation issues impacted the patient (219 of 326, 67.2%). Analysis of these issues by patient age group and drug class also revealed interesting patterns. Technology optimizations potentially could have addressed 81.6% of...


Incorrect Calculation Computerized Provider Order Entry Adopted Health Information Technology Dose Calculation Errors Dose Calculation Task-analytic Approach Technology-based Solutions Safety Checklist Wrong Information Patient Age Group

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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