Analysis of clinical interventions and the impact of pediatric pharmacists on medication error prevention in a teaching hospital

Blank Children's Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa.
The journal of pediatric pharmacology and therapeutics : JPPT : the official journal of PPAG 10/2012; 17(4):365-73. DOI: 10.5863/1551-6776-17.4.365
Source: PubMed


Research has shown that the potential risk for medication errors within the pediatric inpatient population is about 3 times as high as for adults; however, there is limited information regarding the impact of a pediatric pharmacist's contribution to decreasing medication errors and adverse drug events (ADEs). The purpose of this study was to record and analyze all interventions during a 2-month time span in a pediatric teaching hospital to determine the benefit of having a pediatrics-trained clinical pharmacist on the floor.
Pediatric pharmacists prospectively collected data for all interventions and medication errors made between July 1 and August 31, 2010. The pediatric hospital comprises 87 beds, and data were collected during the influx of new pediatric resident interns on the general pediatric ward and pediatric and neonatal intensive care units.
During the study period, 1315 interventions were recorded, which is an average of 21 interventions per day. Most interventions were made through order entry. Errors made up 24.5% of all interventions, with the most common cause of error being prescribing. Physicians with the least amount of training made the most errors. Of order pages scanned, 5.9% contained an error in the order; however, only 0.2% of all errors reached the patient.
This study highlighted the impact a pediatric pharmacist can make on prevention of ADEs and medication errors. Only 0.2% of all errors made during the study period reached the patient owing to interventions made by the pediatric pharmacists, which shows a vast improvement in patient safety.

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