In recent years medication error has justly received considerable attention, as it causes substantial mortality, morbidity and additional healthcare costs. Risk assessment models, adapted from commercial aviation and the oil and gas industries, are currently being developed for use in clinical pharmacy.
The hospital pharmacist is best placed to oversee the quality of the entire drug distribution chain, from prescribing, drug choice, dispensing and preparation to the administration of drugs, and can fulfil a vital role in improving medication safety. Most elements of the drug distribution chain can be optimised; however, because comparative intervention studies are scarce, there is little scientific evidence available demonstrating improvements in medication safety through such interventions.
Possible interventions aimed at reducing medication errors, such as developing methods for detection of patients with increased risk of adverse drug events, performing risk assessment in clinical pharmacy and optimising the drug distribution chain are discussed. Moreover, the specific role of the clinical pharmacist in improving medication safety is highlighted, both at an organisational level and in individual patient care.
Medication Error Clinical Pharmacist Clinical Decision Support System Medication Safety Computerise Physician Order Entry
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No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.
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