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Role of clinical pharmacists’ interventions in detection and prevention of medication errors in a medical ward

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Objective Frequency and type of medication errors and role of clinical pharmacists in detection and prevention of these errors were evaluated in this study. Method During this interventional study, clinical pharmacists monitored 861 patients’ medical records and detected, reported, and prevented medication errors in the infectious disease ward of a major referral teaching hospital in Tehran, Iran. Error was defined as any preventable events that lead to inappropriate medication use related to the health care professionals or patients regardless of outcomes. Classification of the errors was done based on Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe Foundation drug-related problem coding. Results During the study period, 112 medication errors (0.13 errors per patient) were detected by clinical pharmacists. Physicians, nurses, and patients were responsible for 55 (49.1%), 54 (48.2%), and 3 (2.7%) of medication errors, respectively. Drug dosing, choice, use and interactions were the most causes of error in medication processes, respectively. All of these errors were detected, reported, and prevented by infectious diseases ward clinical pharmacists. Conclusion Medication errors occur frequently in medical wards. Clinical pharmacists’ interventions can effectively prevent these errors. The types of errors indicate the need for continuous education and implementation of clinical pharmacist’s interventions.

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We are grateful to the nursing staff (especially Miss Lyly Mosadegh and Miss Fatemeh Asadi) and pharmacy department staff (especially, Dr Samaneh Bairami and dr Rozita Rafiee) of Imam Hospital for their participation in this work.


This study was supported by a grant from Office of Vice-Chancellor for Research of Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

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Correspondence to Hossein Khalili.

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Khalili, H., Farsaei, S., Rezaee, H. et al. Role of clinical pharmacists’ interventions in detection and prevention of medication errors in a medical ward. Int J Clin Pharm 33, 281–284 (2011).

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