Prescribing errors in a pediatric clinic

Michelle Condren, I John Studebaker, Barnabas M John
Clinical Pediatrics 2010, 49 (1): 49-53

OBJECTIVE: This project was completed to determine the frequency and type of prescribing errors occurring in a pediatric clinic.

STUDY DESIGN: Records for all patient encounters in the pediatric acute care clinic from February through April 2007 were reviewed. Prescriptions entered into the electronic medical records (EMR) were reviewed the day after they were written.

RESULTS: A total of 3523 records containing 1802 new prescriptions were reviewed. Prescribing errors were found in 175 prescriptions (9.7%). The most common type of error was an incomplete prescription (42%), followed by dosing errors (34%). Anti-infectives were most commonly written in error followed by anti-inflammatories.

CONCLUSIONS: Prescribing errors were commonly identified in a pediatric clinic utilizing electronic medical records. Incomplete prescriptions and dosing errors were the most commonly occurring errors. Recognizing the types of errors has been beneficial for developing educational programs intended to decrease prescribing errors and recommending improvements to the EMR system and its utilization.

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