International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 610–613 | Cite as

Drug allergy documentation-time for a change?

  • Hanan KhalilEmail author
  • Anne Leversha
  • Viviane Khalil
Short Research Report


Objective of the study To audit patients’ allergy documentation in a large rural hospital an to make recommendations about accurate drug allergies in hospital settings. Setting a 257 bed large hospital and fully integrated health service in Australia, providing a range of services including; medicine, surgery, aged care, cancer care, mental health, maternity and rehabilitation. Method A retrospective design was used to fulfil the aims of this study. Patient medical records were randomly selected and checked for allergy documentation over a 6 month period. Results A total of 521 patients’ medical records were reviewed. Of all the medical records examined in total, 269 (52%) had no allergy, while 252 (48%) reported some kind of allergy. Overall, only three patients (0.6%) had their allergy details fully and accurately recorded in the three places audited and they are the front cover of the patients’ notes, the admission notes and the drug chart. Conclusion Many preventable medical errors are caused by poor documentation which is often due to lack of drug allergy information. All health professional should be more pro-active in determining the manner of any drug allergy or adverse drug reactions (ADR) along with the extent of the reaction.


Adverse drug interaction Allergy Australia Education Hospital Pharmacist 



The authors would like to thank the staff at the Health information department at the hospital that facilitated the data collection process.


This study was not funded by any grant.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, School of Rural HealthMonash UniversityMoeAustralia
  2. 2.Latrobe Regional HospitalTraralgonAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesMonash UniversityParkvilleAustralia

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