Prescribing Errors in Primary Care Revealed in Community Pharmacy (pp. 177-186)
Authors: (Svein Haavik, Anders Ekedahl, Centre for Pharmacy, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, and others)
Abstract: Aims: Prescribing errors endanger patient safety and reduce the efficiency in the healthcare system. A review of studies on prescribing errors in primary care encountered in community pharmacy was performed with the aim to compare the methods and results of the studies. Only papers published in English during the past 20 years were included in the study.
Results: Prescribing errors that require interventions by the pharmacies were found in 0.5-9% of the prescriptions in the majority of the reviewed studies. The most common method for study of prescribing errors was self reporting by community pharmacists. Many studies have used similar registration forms, but very few, however, have used identical protocols. In some studies the clinical significance of the detected prescribing errors was assessed.
Conclusions: Prescribing errors in primary care are frequently detected by community pharmacies.
The observed variations in detected error ratios between the studies may largely dependent on differences in study design and inclusion criteria used. There is a need for a standardized common protocol in order to compare the results from different studies. A validated protocol would provide a valuable means of evaluation of new technology, training programmes etc.
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