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Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 59–65 | Cite as

Detection of prescription errors by a unit-based clinical pharmacist in a nephrology ward

  • Ghazal VessalEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

Objective: To determine the impact of a clinical pharmacist on detection and prevention of prescription errors at the nephrology ward of a referral hospital. Setting: Nephrology ward of a major referral hospital in Southern Iran. Method: During a 4-month period, a clinical pharmacist was assigned to review medication order sheets and drug orders three times a week at the nephrology ward. Besides chart review, the clinical pharmacist participated in medical rounds once a week. The occurrence of prescribing errors, and related harm was determined on hospitalized patients in this ward during the 4 month period. When an error was detected, intervention was made after agreement of the attending physician. Main outcome measures: Number and types of prescribing errors, level of harm, and number of interventions were determined. Results: Seventy six patient charts were reviewed during the 4-month period. A total of 818 medications were ordered in these patients. Eighty six prescribing errors were detected in 46 hospital admissions. The mean age of the patients was 47.7 ± 17.2. Fifty five percent were male while 45% were female. Different types of prescribing errors and their frequencies were as follows: wrong frequency (37.2%), wrong drug selection (19.8%), overdose (12.8%), failure to discontinue (10.5%), failure to order (7 %), under- dose (3.5%), wrong time (3.5%), monitoring (3.5%), wrong route (1.2%), and drug interaction (1.2 %). The attending physician agreed to 96.5% of the prescription errors detected, and interventions were made. Although 89.5% of the detected errors caused no harm, 4(4.7%) of the errors increased the need for monitoring, 2 (2.3%) increased length of stay, and 2 (2.3%) led to permanent patient harm. Conclusion: presence of a clinical pharmacist at the nephrology ward helps in early detection of prescription errors, and therefore potential prevention of negative consequences due to drug administration.

Keywords

Clinical pharmacist Iran Nephrology ward Prescription errors 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Sagheb, Dr. Jamshid Roozbeh, and Dr. Shahrokh Ezat Zadegan (attending nephrologists) for their kind cooperation at the nephrology ward.

Funding

None.

Conflict of Interest

None.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of PharmacyShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran

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