Background and Importance Prescribing errors (PE) are an important cause of medication-related adverse events in the Emergency Departments (ED) but limited data are available in ED with electronic prescribing and administration (ePA) systems. Knowing the frequency and types of PE can help healthcare professionals to prevent and reduce the risk of them occurring.
Aim and Objectives To determine the rate of PE in the ED, to classify incident types and to identify critical points where measures should be implemented to improve patient safety.
Material and Methods Prospective, observational and cross-sectional study in an ED with ePA system during 6 working days (May-June 2021). The inclusion criteria were patients stayed more than 8 hours in the ED and all patients awaiting hospitalisation. Prescriptions were analysed by a multidisciplinary team made up of two pharmacists, an emergency physician and the person in charge of the hospital’s medication errors committee. PE were reported to the hospital’s patient safety-related incident notification system.
Results Of the 65 prescriptions revised during the study period, PE were reported in 84 cases and 15 situations with the capacity to cause errors were detected. The average age of patients was 67 ± (SD=17,9) years and each prescription had an average of 8.4 medications. The rate of PE was 1.52 errors per patient, being higher in less severe patients than monitored patients (1.09 vs 2.0 PE per patient, respectively). The most common types of EP were omission of the usual medication (60.7%), wrong dose (15.5%), wrong frequency (7.1%) and drug is not indicated (7.1%). No adverse reactions related to EP were detected. According to the Spanish consensus about Medication Reconciliation in Emergency Units, 47.1% of omissions of usual medication were drugs that should be reconciled during the first 4 hours in the ED. The results of the study and the importance of medication reconciliation are highlighted in a session in the ED.
Conclusion and Relevance The PE rate in the ED was 1.52 per patient and the main type was omission of the usual medication. A cross sectional study will be made in the future and compared to the current one to establish the impact of the implemented measures on the PE rate.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest
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