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Implementation of pharmacists’ interventions and assessment of medication errors in an intensive care unit of a Chinese tertiary hospital

Authors Jiang S, Chen J, Zhang X, Lu X, Zhao Q

Received 18 June 2014

Accepted for publication 12 August 2014

Published 9 October 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 861—866


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Sai-Ping Jiang,1,* Jian Chen,2,* Xing-Guo Zhang,1 Xiao-Yang Lu,1 Qing-Wei Zhao1

1Department of Pharmacy, 2Intensive Care Unit, the First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Pharmacist interventions and medication errors potentially differ between the People’s Republic of China and other countries. This study aimed to report interventions administered by clinical pharmacists and analyze medication errors in an intensive care unit (ICU) in a tertiary hospital in People’s Republic of China.
Method: A prospective, noncomparative, 6-month observational study was conducted in a general ICU of a tertiary hospital in the People’s Republic of China. Clinical pharmacists performed interventions to prevent or resolve medication errors during daily rounds and documented all of these interventions and medication errors. Such interventions and medication errors were categorized and then analyzed.
Results: During the 6-month observation period, a total of 489 pharmacist interventions were reported. Approximately 407 (83.2%) pharmacist interventions were accepted by ICU physicians. The incidence rate of medication errors was 124.7 per 1,000 patient-days. Improper drug frequency or dosing (n=152, 37.3%), drug omission (n=83, 20.4%), and potential or actual occurrence of adverse drug reaction (n=54, 13.3%) were the three most commonly committed medication errors. Approximately 339 (83.4%) medication errors did not pose any risks to the patients. Antimicrobials (n=171, 35.0%) were the most frequent type of medication associated with errors.
Conclusion: Medication errors during prescription frequently occurred in an ICU of a tertiary hospital in the People’s Republic of China. Pharmacist interventions were also efficient in preventing medication errors.

Keywords: pharmacist, medication error, preva­lence rate, type, severity, intensive care unit

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