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To study the frequency and types of drug administration errors in a large teaching hospital in north India

Author: 
Sajad Hussain Bhat, Farooq A. Jan, Yatoo, G. H., Abdul Hakim and Nowsheen Zaffer
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Safety is a concern in many professions including healthcare. Medication use in hospitals is a complex process and depends on successful interaction among healthcare professionals functioning at different areas. Medication errors may occur at any stage of prescribing, documenting, dispensing, preparation or administration. Objective: • To study the frequency of drug administration errors. • To study the types of drug administration errors. Methods: A prospective observational study was carried out for a period of one year in the inpatient wards of Sher-i-kashmir institute of medical sciences (SKIMS) Soura Srinagar. The researcher used to visit one ward two days in a week; the wards were selected by simple random sampling. The administration of drugs was observed and compared with concerned patient’s prescription. Any deviation observed was noted as error. Results: A total of 4752 drug administrations were observed and compared with patient’s prescription. These involved 312 drug rounds done by 138 staff members. A total of 592 errors were noticed. The frequency of drug administration errors was 12.4%. If wrong time errors were excluded, the error rate reduced to 8.1%. Regarding the types of errors noticed, the most frequent type of error observed was wrong time error viz. 208 (35.1%) followed by wrong rate error 152 (25.2%). The frequency of wrong dose error, missed dose error, unprescribed drug error and other type of errors was 96(16.2%), 72(12.2%), 24(4%), and 40(6.8%) respectively. Conclusion: Drug administration errors is a common problem in healthcare settings which needs to be addressed on priority basis for patient safety.

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