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Natl J Physiol Pharm Pharmacol. 2023; 13(2023, Vol: 13, Issue: 8): 1756-1760

Evaluation of pattern of medication errors in a tertiary care hospital in South India: A prospective observational study

Kanathur N Chaithra, Eregodu Manjunath Sparshadeep, Bai G Priyadarshini, Basavaraj Rajesh, Gowthamapura V Kavana, Begum N Shabeena, Mudmakudu N Dakshayini.


Background: Medication errors (MEs) increase morbidity, mortality, and economic burden to health-care system. MEs are the sixth highest cause of death in America. Documented data, studies, and reporting of MEs in India are limited.

Aims and Objectives: The study was undertaken with the objectives to determine the frequency and the nature of medication errors in the hospital.

Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study of 6-month duration was conducted using prescriptions (n = 1007) of patients admitted as inpatients in wards and intensive care unit in the hospital. Sensitization programs were regularly carried out to health-care professionals. The case records and treatment charts of patients in wards were reviewed and the patients or caretakers were interviewed to gather information. Standard hospital proforma for medication errors was used to collect data. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics in Excel.

Results: Overall, medication error rate was 26.81% in 6 months with a declining trend from the initial 36.11% month of study period. Prescription, dispensing, administration, and documentation errors were, respectively, 92.2%, 4.1%, 3.3%, and 17.8%. Errors pertaining to writing generic names, doses, and routes of drug administration were, respectively, 73%, 48.5%, and 35.2%. Majority (94.8%) of ME belonged to category B of the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention index.

Conclusion: The current study observed a high prescription error rate in hospital emphasizing the need for ME sensitization/training program to doctors and nurses. The study observed a declining trend in ME rate that would be attributed to the ongoing sensitization program. The study also indicates an enhanced requirement for the implementation of regular and rigorous reporting system in the hospital.

Key words: Medication Errors; Program Evaluation; Data Reporting; Inappropriate Prescription

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