Assessment of prescribing errors and pharmacists interventions in outpatients pharmacy setting of a London hospital
A drug prescription is considered to be a medico-legal document that should be written clearly, accurately and completely. Prescriptions are required to contain certain core elements, although format may vary from country to country and among hospital settings. Prescribers are expected to adhere to prescribing guidelines and policies to minimize errors in drug use processes. The aim of this study was to assess prescribing errors in outpatient setting of a hospital and also determine interventions carried out by pharmacists concerning these errors. The study was conducted as a prospective study with data collected over eight (8) days at four outpatient pharmacies of a hospital. Five hundred and thirty-three (533) prescriptions were assessed and more than half of these prescriptions (378; 70.9%) were found to have incomplete information and did not meet the required principles as laid out in the hospital’s prescribing policy. Twenty six (26) of these incomplete prescriptions required an intervention by the pharmacy staff. The study identified necessary areas which required improvement in ensuring good prescription writing. Additionally, the study highlighted possible areas of advancement in outpatient prescribing, such as the adoption of electronic prescribing.
Keywords: Prescription, prescription errors, pharmacists, intervention, prescription policy