News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Study highlights extent of medication errors in hospitals

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7516.534-a (Published 08 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:534
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. Quebec

    A systematic review by Canadian researchers of 22 studies including 3755 patients showed that errors in prescription medication histories at hospital admission were “disturbingly common and potentially harmful to patients.” Such errors occurred in up to 67% of cases in the studies, which were published between 1966 and April 2005 (CMAJ 2005;173:510-5).

    Between 27% and 54% of patients had at least one medication history error and 19-75% of the discrepancies were unintentional. In six of the studies (n=588 patients) the investigators estimated that 11-59% of the medication history errors were clinically important. …

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