3 Independent Risk Factors Associated With Medication Errors

Researchers have determined several factors associated with an increased and decreased risk of medication errors, according to a study published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.


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For the study, researchers conducted a retrospective study of medication errors that occurred at three hospitals in a large health system from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. The researchers ultimately studied 4,321 medication errors, of which 182 (4 percent) contributed to patient harm. A further assessment of these cases revealed the following risk factors:

1.    30-day readmission
2.    Time of day (3:00 a.m. – 6:59 a.m.)
3.    Institute for Safe Medication Practices high-alert medications

The researchers also determined several factors decreased the risk of medication errors, including pharmacist review of medication order and time of year (February or April).

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