Use error is a contemporary term that denotes unintended consequences that occur during human-machine interactions; it is a neutral term regarding the cause of the error.1,2  Formally defined, use error is a “user action or lack of action that was different from that expected by the manufacturer and caused a result that (1) was different from the result expected by the user and (2) was not caused solely by device failure and (3) did or could result in harm.”3(p3)

In health care, users who interact with technology are professionals and nonprofessionals, including unlicensed health care personnel, patients, and families. All users should reasonably expect to use health care technologies without making errors that negatively affect the intended outcome. These technologies include automated dispensing cabinets, infusion pumps, computerized order entry, electronic health records, point-of-care testing, barcode medication...

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