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Type: Journal article
Title: Simple prescribing errors and allergy documentation in medical hospital admissions in Australia and New Zealand
Author: Barton, L.
Futtermenger, J.
Gaddi, Y.
Kang, A.
Rivers, J.
Spriggs, D.
Jenkins, P.
Thompson, C.
Thomas, J.
Citation: Clinical Medicine, 2012; 12(2):119-123
Publisher: Royal College of Physicians
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1470-2118
Statement of
Lorna Barton, Judith Futtermenger, Yash Gaddi, Angela Kang, Jon Rivers, David Spriggs, Paul F Jenkins, Campbell H. Thompson and Josephine S Thomas
Abstract: This study aimed to quantify and compare the prevalence of simple prescribing errors made by clinicians in the first 24 hours of a general medical patient's hospital admission. Four public or private acute care hospitals across Australia and New Zealand each audited 200 patients' drug charts. Patient demographics, pharmacist review and pre-defined prescribing errors were recorded. At least one simple error was present on the medication charts of 672/715 patients, with a linear relationship between the number of medications prescribed and the number of errors (r=0.571, p<0.001). The four sites differed significantly in the prevalence of different types of simple prescribing errors. Pharmacists were more likely to review patients aged >75 years (39.9% vs 26.0%; p<0.001) and those with more than 10 drug prescriptions (39.4% vs 25.7%; p<0.001). Patients reviewed by a pharmacist were less likely to have inadequate documentation of allergies (13.5% vs 29.4%, p<0.001). Simple prescribing errors are common, although their nature differs from site to site. Clinical pharmacists target patients with the most complex health situations, and their involvement leads to improved documentation.
Keywords: clinical pharmacist
medication chart
prescription error
Rights: © 2012 Royal College of Physicians
DOI: 10.7861/clinmedicine.12-2-119
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