Differences in prescribing errors between electronic prescribing and traditional prescribing among medical students: A randomized pilot study

Samir El Abdouni*, Laura S. Kalfsvel, Wim J.R. Rietdijk, Hugo Van der Kuy, Floor van Rosse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)



This randomized controlled pilot study aimed to assess the differences in the frequency, type and severity of prescribing errors made by medical students when assessed in an electronic (e-)prescribing system compared to a traditional prescribing method (e.g., typing out a prescription). 


Fourth year medical students in the period of 1 November to 31 July 2023, were asked to participate in this single-centre prospective, randomized, controlled intervention study. Participants performed a prescribing assessment in either an e-prescribing system (intervention group) or in a more traditional prescribing platform (control group). The prescriptions were checked for errors, graded and categorized. Differences in prescribing errors, error categories and severity were analysed. 


Out of 334 students, 84 participated in the study. Nearly all participants (98.8%) made 1 or more prescribing errors, primarily involving inadequate information errors. In the intervention group, more participants made prescribing errors involving the prescribed amount (71.4 vs. 19.0%; P <.01), but fewer involving administrative errors (2.4 vs. 19.0%; P =.03). Prescribing-method-specific errors were identified in 4.8 and 40.5% of the intervention and control group, respectively, with significant differences in overlapping errors as well. 


This pilot study shows the importance of training e-prescribing competencies in medical curricula, in addition to traditional prescribing methods. It identifies prescribing-method-specific prescribing errors and emphasizes the need for further research to define e-prescribing competencies. Additionally, the need for an accessible real-life-like e-prescribing environment tailored to educators and students is essential for effective learning and incorporation of e-prescribing into medical curricula.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society.


Dive into the research topics of 'Differences in prescribing errors between electronic prescribing and traditional prescribing among medical students: A randomized pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this