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Nature and frequency of medication errors in a geriatric ward: an Indonesian experience

Authors Ernawati D, Lee YP, Hughes J

Received 31 January 2014

Accepted for publication 26 March 2014

Published 3 June 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 413—421


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

Video abstract presented by Desak Ernawati.

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Desak Ketut Ernawati,1,2 Ya Ping Lee,2 Jeffery David Hughes2

1Faculty of Medicine, Udayana University, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia; 2School of Pharmacy and Curtin Health Innovation and Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia

Purpose: To determine the nature and frequency of medication errors during medication delivery processes in a public teaching hospital geriatric ward in Bali, Indonesia.
Methods: A 20-week prospective study on medication errors occurring during the medication delivery process was conducted in a geriatric ward in a public teaching hospital in Bali, Indonesia. Participants selected were inpatients aged more than 60 years. Patients were excluded if they had a malignancy, were undergoing surgery, or receiving chemotherapy treatment. The occurrence of medication errors in prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, and administration were detected by the investigator providing in-hospital clinical pharmacy services.
Results: Seven hundred and seventy drug orders and 7,662 drug doses were reviewed as part of the study. There were 1,563 medication errors detected among the 7,662 drug doses reviewed, representing an error rate of 20.4%. Administration errors were the most frequent medication errors identified (59%), followed by transcription errors (15%), dispensing errors (14%), and prescribing errors (7%). Errors in documentation were the most common form of administration errors. Of these errors, 2.4% were classified as potentially serious and 10.3% as potentially significant.
Conclusion: Medication errors occurred in every stage of the medication delivery process, with administration errors being the most frequent. The majority of errors identified in the administration stage were related to documentation. Provision of in-hospital clinical pharmacy services could potentially play a significant role in detecting and preventing medication errors.

Keywords: geriatric, medication errors, inpatients, medication delivery process, Indonesian hospital

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