An evaluation of medication errors in a large teaching hospital

  • Jan S
  • Akhtar M
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OBJECTIVES: A lot of studies regarding medication errors are reported and published worldwide. We also face a big challenge of medication errors in our country. This study aims to explore the types of medication errors in drug administration in a large teaching hospital which is a reflection of the medication errors in the whole country. METHODS: Trainee Pharmacists from 3 different batches of Pharmacy in my supervision were assigned to examine the errors in different clinical units of the hospital. The study was based on their personal monitoring and patients' interviews regarding the medication administration. The results were collected from 1900 patients and the study period was from June, 2008 to November, 2010. RESULTS: We had detected 910 medication errors out of 1900 patients only in drug administration. In each category the medication errors were omission: 387(42.5%), time: 291(32%), unauthorized drug: 89(9.8%), wrong rate: 70(7.7%), wrong route: 56(6%) and wrong dosage form: 17(2%). The health care professionals involved in these medication errors were nurses and the reason was lack of hospital Pharmacists in each nursing unit. CONCLUSIONS: Different areas in our country and other developing countries might have these problems/results. There is a dire need for the induction of hospital Pharmacists in the health care system to overcome these types of medication errors which leads to about 40% accidents and incidents in drug administration. Nurses involved in these medication errors should be trained for proper use and administration of the drugs to the inpatients in particular. This study also indicates that this type of practice is the reflection of state and regulatory affairs in the country and this is a warning for all developing countries.




Jan, S. U., & Akhtar, M. (2013). An evaluation of medication errors in a large teaching hospital. Value in Health, 16(3), A16.

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