Prevalence of Medication Errors in Admitted Patients at the Philippine General Hospital

Paul Matthew D. Pasco, Ruzanne M. Caro, Connie L. Cruz, Nerissa M. Dando, Iris Thiele C. Isip-Tan,
Lynn R. Panganiban, Loralyn P. Pascua, Rosario R. Ricalde and Antonio C. Sison

UPCM Drug Safety Working Group

Background. Medication errors are preventable events that can cause or lead to inappropriate drug use. Knowing the prevalence and types of errors can help us institute corrective measures and avoid adverse drug events.

Objective. This study determined the prevalence of medication errors and its specific types in the four main service wards of a tertiary government training medical center.

Methods. This is a retrospective, descriptive chart review study. From the master list of admissions, systematic sampling was done to retrieve the required number of charts. Relevant pages such as order sheets, nurses’ notes, therapeutic sheets were photographed. For prolonged admissions, only the first 7 days were reviewed. Each chart was evaluated by two people who then met and agreed on the errors identified.

Results. The overall prevalence of medication errors is 97.8%. Pediatrics had the most (63.3/chart), followed by Medicine, OB-Gynecology, and Surgery (7.3/chart). The most common type of errors identified were prescribing, followed by compliance, then administration errors.

Conclusion. Medication errors are present in the four main wards in our hospital. We recommend orientation of all incoming first year residents on proper ordering and prescribing of drugs, as well as a prospective observational study to determine true prevalence of all types of medication errors.

Key Words: medication error/s, drug use error/s, prescribing, dispensing, administration or compliance error/s