Medication Errors: Hospital Pharmacist Perspective

Guchelaar, Henk-Jan; Colen, Hadewig B. B.; Kalmeijer, Mathijs D.; Hudson, Patrick T. W.; Teepe-Twiss, Irene M.
July 2005
Drugs;2005, Vol. 65 Issue 13, p1735
Academic Journal
In recent years medication error has justly received considerable attention, as it causes substantial mortality, morbidity and additional healthcare costs. Risk assessment models, adapted from commercial aviation and the oil and gas industries, are currently being developed for use in clinical pharmacy. The hospital pharmacist is best placed to oversee the quality of the entire drug distribution chain, from prescribing, drug choice, dispensing and preparation to the administration of drugs, and can fulfil a vital role in improving medication safety. Most elements of the drug distribution chain can be optimised; however, because comparative intervention studies are scarce, there is little scientific evidence available demonstrating improvements in medication safety through such interventions. Possible interventions aimed at reducing medication errors, such as developing methods for detection of patients with increased risk of adverse drug events, performing risk assessment in clinical pharmacy and optimising the drug distribution chain are discussed. Moreover, the specific role of the clinical pharmacist in improving medication safety is highlighted, both at an organisational level and in individual patient care.


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