The Impact of Preprinted Prescription Forms on Medication Prescribing Errors in an Ophthalmology Clinic in Northeast Thailand: A Non-Randomised Interventional Study
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CitationSanguansak, Thuss, Michael G Morley, Yosanan Yospaiboon, Alice Lorch, Bethany Hedt, and Katharine Morley. 2012. The impact of preprinted prescription forms on medication prescribing errors in an ophthalmology clinic in northeast Thailand: A non-randomised interventional study. BMJ Open 2(1): e000539.
AbstractObjectives: To understand the incidence and types of medication prescribing errors in a low resource setting ophthalmology clinic and to determine the impact of a preprinted prescription based on the hospital formulary (FormularyScript) on medication prescribing errors. Design: Non-randomised interventional study. Setting: Ophthalmology clinic in a teaching hospital in northeast Thailand. Participants: 4349 handwritten prescriptions collected from October 2009 to December 2009, and 4146 FormularyScripts collected from February 2010 to May 2010. Primary and Secondary Outcome Measures: All prescriptions from the handwritten and FormularyScript groups were analysed for medication error rates by types (legibility, ambiguous, incomplete, abbreviation and accuracy) and subtypes (drug name, strength, which eye, route and dispensed amount). Results: Comparison of error rates in the two groups showed a 10-fold reduction in the overall error rate using FormularyScript (32.9%–3.5%, p<0.001). FormularyScripts were associated with statistically significant (p<0.001) decreases in the following error types: legibility (16.1%–0.1%), incomplete (16.1%–0.1%) and abbreviation (3.1%–0.3%). There was no statistically significant change in accuracy errors (0.8%–0.6%, p=0.21). Ambiguous errors increased with FormularyScripts (0.6%–2.5%, p<0.001), likely due to the introduction of new ways to make errors. Decreases were seen in all legibility, abbreviation and accuracy error subtypes, and four out of six incomplete error subtypes. There were statistically significant increases in both ambiguous error subtypes: which eye (0.3%–2.5%, p<0.001) and drug name (0.3%–0.6%, p=0.03). Conclusions: In our study population, outpatient medication prescribing errors were common and primarily due to legibility and incomplete error types. A preprinted prescription form has the potential to decrease medication prescribing errors related to legibility, incomplete prescribing information and use of unacceptable abbreviations without changing the overall rate of accuracy errors. However, new error types can occur.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10336861
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