Medication errors in outpatient setting of a tertiary care hospital: classification and root cause analysis

Sunil Basukala, Sameer Mehrotra, Shiva Devarakonda


Background: The goal of drug therapy is the achievement of defined therapeutic outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life while minimizing patient risk. Medication error is an important cause of morbidity and mortality, yet it can be a confusing and under-appreciated concept.

Methods: A total of 3000 prescriptions were selected using Systematic Random Sampling, and prescription errors were stratified according to nuisance they may cause by dispensation followed by identification of Root Causes of the errors.

Results: Out of a total of 3000 prescriptions, 2394 prescriptions (70.61%) were found to have one or more errors. The total number of errors were 3390 as many prescriptions had more than one error. The most common type of errors was Type D and was found in 70.61% prescriptions.

Conclusions: Learning more about medication errors may enhance health care professionals’ ability to provide safe care to their patients. Hence,  A focus on easy-to-use and inexpensive techniques for medication error reduction should be used to have the greatest impact.


Medication errors, Prescription, Root cause analysis

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