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Editor's Correspondence
June 12, 2006

Computerized Order Entry and Bar-Coded Medication

Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(11):1235-1236. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.11.1235

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) applauds Nebeker and colleagues on their article titled “High Rates of Adverse Drug Events in a Highly Computerized Hospital.”1 I support their conclusion that computerized patient order entry and bar code–assisted medication administration substantially mitigate some risks and sources of harm. To achieve the next significant reduction levels in adverse drug events, VHA systems must contain sophisticated decision support tools that offer suggestions for drug selection and dosing as well as the associated follow-up monitoring. The VHA is working hard to further propel the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) along its patient safety–centered health care trajectory by aggressively pursuing improvements in those areas.