In total, 119 orders were identified for the 9 random­ly selected days before installation of the dedicated fax machine and 170 for the 9 randomly selected days after installation of the dedicated unit (Table 1). The proportion of orders missed by pharmacists declined from 8.4% (10/119) before to 3.5% (6/170) after implementation of the dedicated fax machine, and the proportion of orders for which the dose was checked increased from 47.9% (57/119) to 64.1% (109/170). For patients up to 12 years of age, dose-checking increased from 49.6% (56/113) to 74.5% (105/141).

Table 1. Receipt and Handling of Medication Orders for Pediatric Patients Before and After Installation of a Dedicated Fax Machine

No. (%) of Orders


Patients by Age Group


Received


Missed


Dose Checked


Dose Too High


All patients


Before fax


119


10


(8.4)


57


(47.9)


3 (2.5)


After fax


170


6


(3.5)


109


(64.1)


0


0-11
months of age


Before fax


48


(40.3)


3


(6.3)


26


(54.2)


2 (4.2)


After fax


38


(22.4)


2


(5.3)


32


(84.2)


0


1-12
years of age


Before fax


65


(54.6)


6


(9.2)


30


(46.2)


1 (1.5)


After fax


103


(60.6)


3


(2.9)


73


(70.9)


0


13-17
years of age


Before fax


6


(5.0)


1


(16.7)


1


(16.7)


0


After fax


29


(17.1)


1


(3.4)


4


(13.8)


0

Among the orders for which doses were not checked, 3 orders received before implementation of the dedicated fax (one each for gentamicin, morphine, and clarithromycin) had doses that were too high. The proportions of orders for which doses were too low were similar: 1.7% (2/119) before and 1.2% (2/170) after implementation of dedicated fax machine. All of the orders processed before and after installation of the dedicated pediatric fax machine had the correct patient and the correct drug; one order received before installation of the dedicated fax machine had the incorrect route. Incorrect formulations and label instructions declined from 9.2% (11/119) before to 4.1% (7/170) after implementation of the dedicated machine.