Hospital prescribing errors "substantial"

29 July 2015

The problem of prescribing errors in hospitals is “substantial” and not solely a problem of the most junior medical prescribers, “particularly for those errors most likely to cause significant patient harm”, a new pharmacist-led study has revealed.

Pharmacists in 20 UK hospitals reviewed 124,260 medication orders for 26,019 patients during seven prospectively selected days. The pharmacists identified errors in 8.8 per cent of medication orders. Doctors who were one and two years in training were roughly twice as likely to prescribe erroneously (odds ratio [OR] 2.13 and 2.23 respectively) as consultants.

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