Background Audits of the drug prescribing process in hospitals can help to identify problematic fields in relation to drug treatment. This can increase patient safety by preventing potential medicines errors.
Purpose To quantify the frequency of drug-related problems (DRPs) and assess consequent interventions in hospitalised patients.
Material and methods The study took place in the vascular and general surgery ward over a 6-week period in 2014. Medicines recorded on patient charts were reviewed by a pharmacy resident in order to identify DRPs. DRPs of chronic medicines and those newly prescribed during the stay in hospital were assessed. Interventions were also recorded. The number of chronic medicines (i.e. including polypharmacy status: taking ≥6 medicines) in relation to DRPs were analysed (SPSS, T-test).
Results Medicines of 171 patients (vascular surgery: 105, general surgery: 66) were assessed. Overall 123 DRPs were identified from 89 patients. Majority (68%, 84 cases) of DRPs were related to newly prescribed medicines while the rest (32%, 39 cases) were related to chronic medicines. In case of chronic medicines the most frequent type of error (71%) was inaccuracy of product strength or recording of dosing regimen. In newly prescribed drugs the lack of daily update on patient charts was the most frequent DRP (60%). The most frequent types of intervention were clarification of dosage/dosing regimen (60 cases) and clarification of the necessity for daily dosing (50 cases). Association was found between the number of medicines and DRPs: firstly, patients with polypharmacy had significantly higher chances of DRPs (OR: 2.45, 95% CI: 1.14–5.26; p = 0.020), secondly, in the vascular surgical ward, the average number of chronic medicines per patient was significantly higher when DRPs were found (7.1 ± 4.5 vs. 8.9 ± 3.5, p = 0.03).
Conclusion We identified drug-related problems (DRPs) in every second patient. Pharmacists are able to detect and solve DRPs and prevent potential medicines errors.
PCNE Classification of DRP V 6.2
ReferenceNo conflict of interest.
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