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K.M. Narayana, L. James, J.R. Rosenthal, L. Klingos, M. Ellen, C.M. Samson; Prescription and Medication Order Errors in a Tertiary Referral Eye and Ear Center . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):4408.
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To describe the nature of prescription and medication order errors made by physicians at a tertiary referral eye and ear center in the eastern USA.
Pharmacy at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary routinely screens all prescriptions for accuracy of information as per the quality standards policy of the hospital. Interventions are made and appropriate action is initiated to rectify the errors. This data was generated from the list of the log of these interventions made by the Pharmacy at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary during the first three quarters of Calendar year 2005 (January to September).
A total of 41,646 prescriptions were received by the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary Pharmacy (29,732 inpatient orders and 11,914 outpatient prescriptions). A total of 928 (about 2% ) prescriptions needed some intervention. Three hundred ninety two of those (about 1% of total, 42% of those needing intervention) were considered as errors that if not intervened might have potentially resulted in undesirable consequences. Pharmacy intervention prevented these potential consequences. The most common errors included wrong dosage (27.8%), prescribing medications that were contraindicated due to allergy or diagnosis (23.7%) or prescribing the wrong frequency (17.3%).
The pharmacy has an important role in preventing potentially dangerous consequences of prescription errors. This data emphasizes the important role of additional screening mechanisms. Physicians must to be aware of these potential errors and be cautious while writing prescriptions.
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