Author(s): Lustig A
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to record prospectively the frequency of medication order errors in a general hospital in Israel with the objective of assessing the impact of pharmacist intervention in preventing potential harm. METHODS: The study was conducted during a 6-month period. A total of 160 medication order errors were detected at the hospital of which 60.6\% were prescription errors and 39.4\% were therapy ones. Principal types of errors detected were incorrect dosage (27.5\%), interactions between drugs (20\%), incorrect drug (12.5\%), route (11.2\%) and frequency (11.2\%). Medication error rate by degree of severity was calculated per 100 patient days. The highest rate was found in Hemato-Oncology (2.48), followed by Intensive Care (0.82), Surgery (0.48) and Internal Medicine (0.26). Anti-infective drugs were the most prevalent class of drugs in which errors occurred (38.7\%) followed by total parenteral nutrition preparations (21.8\%), antineoplastics (15.6\%) and anticoagulants (11.3\%). Changes in medication orders due to pharmacists' intervention only occurred in 73.8\% of error cases, most referring to dosage or route change (37.5\%). CONCLUSIONS: This study underestimates the actual number of medication errors. However, it identified problem areas and trends so that better measures to improve drug use could be implemented.
This article was published in Pharm World Sci
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care