Evaluation of faculty and non-faculty physicians’ medication errors in outpatients’ prescriptions in Shiraz, Iran

Document Type: Research article

Authors

1 Shiraz University of Medical Sciences,

2 Shiraz University of Medical Sciences

3 Department of Pharmacotherapy, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Abstract

Aim: This study was aimed at finding the occurrence rate of prescription errors in the outpatients' prescriptions written by faculty and non-faculty physicians practicing in Shiraz, Iran.
Method: In this cross-sectional study 2000 outpatient prescriptions were randomly collected from pharmacies affiliated with Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS) and social security insurance in Shiraz, Iran. Patient information including age, weight, diagnosis and chief complain were recorded. Physicians ‘characteristics were extracted from prescriptions. Prescription errors including errors in spelling, instruction, strength, dosage form and quantity as well as drug-drug interactions and contraindications were identified.
Result: The mean±SD age of patients was 37.91±21.10 years. Most of the patients were male (77.15%) and 81.50% of patients were adults. The average total number of drugs per prescription was 3.19± 1.60. The mean±SD of prescription errors was 7.38±4.06. Spelling error (26.4%), instruction error (21.03%), and strength error (19.18%) were the most frequent prescription errors. The mean±SD of prescription errors was 7.83±4.2 and 6.93±3.88 in non-faculty and faculty physicians, respectively (P<0.05). Number of prescription errors increased significantly as the number of prescribed drugs increased.
Conclusion: All prescriptions had at least one error. The rate of prescription errors was higher in non-faculty physicians. Number of prescription errors related with the prescribed drugs in the prescription.

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