Poor communication, poor training, and chaotic drug rounds contribute to drug errors

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 13 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:581
  1. Alison Tonks
  1. 1BMJ

Poor communication, interruptions during drug rounds in wards, and poor training of junior doctors are key contributors to drug errors in hospitals, a problem that costs the NHS £750m (€980; $1510) a year, a conference on drug errors in Manchester heard this week.

In a recent audit at the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital almost one third of drug administrations were interrupted, often by other staff.

Nurses at the hospital now wear red tunics during drug rounds to reduce disturbances while they are checking and giving out drugs. Throughout the NHS, missed doses, wrong doses, and switched …

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