International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 1112–1123 | Cite as

Medication dispensing errors in Palestinian community pharmacy practice: a formal consensus using the Delphi technique

  • Ramzi ShawahnaEmail author
  • Aseel Haddad
  • Baraa Khawaja
  • Rand Raie
  • Sireen Zaneen
  • Tasneem Edais
Research Article


Background Medication dispensing errors (MDEs) are frequent in community pharmacy practice. A definition of MDEs and scenarios representing MDE situations in Palestinian community pharmacy practice were not previously approached using formal consensus techniques. Objective This study was conducted to achieve consensus on a definition of MDEs and a wide range of scenarios that should or should not be considered as MDEs in Palestinian community pharmacy practice by a panel of community pharmacists. Setting Community pharmacy practice in Palestine. Method This was a descriptive study using the Delphi technique. A panel of fifty community pharmacists was recruited from different geographical locations of the West Bank of Palestine. A three round Delphi technique was followed to achieve consensus on a proposed definition of MDEs and 83 different scenarios representing potential MDEs using a nine-point scale. Main outcome measure Agreement or disagreement of a panel of community pharmacists on a proposed definition of MDEs and a series of scenarios representing potential MDEs. Results In the first Delphi round, views of key contact community pharmacists on MDEs were explored and situations representing potential MDEs were collected. In the second Delphi round, consensus was achieved to accept the proposed definition and to include 49 (59 %) of the 83 proposed scenarios as MDEs. In the third Delphi round, consensus was achieved to include further 13 (15.7 %) scenarios as MDEs, exclude 9 (10.8 %) scenarios and the rest of 12 (14.5 %) scenarios were considered equivocal based on the opinions of the panelists. Conclusion Consensus on a definition of MDEs and scenarios representing MDE situations in Palestinian community pharmacy practice was achieved using a formal consensus technique. The use of consensual definitions and scenarios representing MDE situations in community pharmacy practice might minimize methodological variations and their significant effects on the number and rate of MDEs reported in different studies.


Consensus Community pharmacy Delphi technique Definition of error Medication dispensing errors Medication errors 



Authors would like to thank all expert community pharmacists who participated in this study.


This study did not receive any specific funds.

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramzi Shawahna
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Aseel Haddad
    • 3
  • Baraa Khawaja
    • 3
  • Rand Raie
    • 3
  • Sireen Zaneen
    • 3
  • Tasneem Edais
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesAn-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine
  2. 2.An-Najah BioSciences Unit, Center for Poisons Control, Chemical and Biological AnalysesAn-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesAn-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine

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