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TITLE:

REDUCING THE MEDICATION ERRORS USING ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTIONS

AUTHORS:

Meshari Al Rayees, Osama Mukhtar, Abdul Rahman Al Yousef, Attiya Bin Mohammad Al Zahrani

ABSTRACT:

Background: Medication errors are the main reason of the adverse events in a healthcare setup and it is a major concern of the healthcare institution as it affects the quality of the care. The objective of the study is to evaluate frequency, type and severity of medication prescribing errors in computerized prescriptions at the pharmacies in King Salman Armed Forces Hospital, Northwest Region, Tabuk, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Methods: It was a retrospective observational study conducted at Armed Forces Hospital Tabuk Saudi Arabia during the period of six months (i.e. Jan 2018 to June 2018). A sample of 592 properly intervened prescriptions by the senior pharmacists was included in the study. All the data was entered in SPSS v.21. Demographic and prescription related information was presented in tabulated and graphical form by using their frequencies and percentages. Chi Square test was applied to find any association between prescribing error severity and prescription related information in the prescription forms. Level of significance was taken as 0.05 (p≤0.05). Results: Of 592 prescriptions, 64.4% were taken from outpatients. Majority of the prescriptions were from Internal Medicine department. Weight (81%) and diagnosis (39%) were the major missing details from the prescription. 393 (66%) of the prescriptions were having dose related errors (under/over dose) while 247 (42%) were having frequency related and 36 (6%) were route of administration related drug errors. On the basis of consequences caused by a drug error, 55% of the errors in our study were minor error, 42% moderate and 3% were serious. A statistically significant association was reported between prescribing error severity and prescription source (p=0.001) and specialty of physician (p=0.002). Conclusion: Results of this study demonstrate that adding another protecting layer in the process of medication dispensing by using a reliable design support system will be very useful for better patient safety and outcome. Moreover, pharmacy intervention remains the key for quality improvement and patient safety in medication management. Keywords: Medication Error, Electronic Prescription, Prescribing Error Severity, Saudi Arabia

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