Background Medication errors (MEs) represent a significant burden to healthcare system and the frequency of potentially harmful MEs was found to be three times higher in paediatric population when compared to adults1.
Objectives This review aims to analyse MEs to improve medication safety and compare the frequency of MEs compared to the previous audit cycle.
Methods This is a retrospective analysis of medication errors in paediatric ward and neonatal unit utilising critical incident reporting forms (Datix) that were submitted from October 2018 to September 2019. These reports were obtained through the clinical audit department and patients‘ case notes were examined to review attributes of error.
Results There were 38 incidents over the period of review (3.2 errors per month), demonstrating an improvement from the last audit cycle (4.5 errors per month). A large percentage (68%) of errors originated from paediatric ward and most of the errors were attributable to prescription errors. Doctors of all grades were identified to commit errors in prescription. Administration issues were the second most common cause for errors. Neither of these errors resulted in mortality and morbidity although some patients required additional monitoring as a consequence.
Conclusions It is important to note that while errors were reducing in frequency, these errors could still potentially cause harm if they were not being addressed. Our trust is currently in the process of rolling out electronic prescribing and administration of medications to reduce medication errors and improve patient care. Another audit will be planned after the implementation of electronic system to review its usage to improve medication safety.
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