Student Dissertation

Agency : Medication Error; Inpatient Area; Patient Safety; Incidence of Medication Error; Healthcare Services Delivery

Objective : This study was focused on medication errors occurred in a multispecialty hospital with the objective of their detection, measurement, correction and prevention.

Background : Incidence of medication error is an indicator of quality and patient safety. Medication errors are preventable events which have the potential to cause adverse events. Patient safety is the ultimate objective of healthcare service delivery.

Methodology : It was a prospective observational study in the inpatient area of the hospital with the help of checklist. There were four major types of the medication errors as per the process involved. There were total 23 criteria for which the non compliance is detected. Total 130 medicine cards were observed for the detection through convenience sampling. The Medication Error Rate was calculated for each major error type in percentage. There were systems established to address the medication errors in the hospital. They were all analyzed critically and identified the causes for medication errors.

Findings : Total 434 errors were detected out of 2990 opportunities. The actual MER was found 14.49% against the standard MER of 3% (Older standard 5%). The Error rates for prescription errors (26%), indent errors (8%), dispensing errors (5%) and administration errors (10%). According to the causes, some suggestions were given to improve these systems. The major causes for medication errors were lack of attention to details, ambiguous names of drugs, Illegible writing, overburdened staff and lack of implementation of computerized system. The medication errors can occur in any step of medication process. It can be prevented by constant monitoring and discussing it regularly in periodic meetings. It emphasizes the importance of appointing clinical pharmacists and pharmacologists. By reducing the medication error rates the goal of patient safety can be achieved