Prescription errors and pharmacist’s intervention at outpatient pharmacies of two teaching hospitals of central Nepal

Author : Ramesh Sharma Poudel, Shakti Shrestha, Dipendra Khatiwada, Santosh Thapa, Aastha Prajapati, Lekhjung Thapa, Rojina Baral

Pharmacist’s intervention on serious prescription errors has promoted treatment effectiveness, decreased treatment cost and reduced potential harm. We aim to evaluate the prescription errors and pharmacist’s intervention at the outpatient pharmacies of two private tertiary care teaching hospitals of Central Nepal. A cross-sectional study was conducted for six working days in August 2014. Medication-prescribing errors were recorded by pharmacists using a checklist and discussed with the prescribers. The prescriptions that were corrected, changed or discontinued by the prescriber were considered as pharmacist intervened prescription. Frequency distribution and 2-test were performed. The daily rate of prescription error was 4.25% (N=106). The commonest type of errors were dose and dosing frequency error (43, 40.6%), and therapy error (36, 34.0%) with the highest prevalence of errors in general medicine (27, 25.5%) and more errors by the prescribers who were residents. 2-test showed a significant association of prescription errors with the prescriber (P=0.005) and pharmacist intervention (P=0.013). Prescription errors routinely occur in the outpatient settings showing the need for competent pharmacists. Both the prescriber and pharmacist need to work collectively in reducing prescribing errors, error related health hazards and economic burden to patients.

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