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Medication errors when transferring elderly patients between primary health care and hospital care

Midlöv, Patrik LU ; Bergkvist, Anna LU ; Bondesson, Åsa ÅB LU ; Eriksson, Tommy LU and Höglund, Peter LU (2005) In PHARMACY WORLD & SCIENCE 27(2). p.116-120
Abstract
Objective: The aims were to evaluate the frequency and nature of errors in medication when patients are transferred between primary and secondary care. Method: Elderly primary health care patients (> 65 years) living in nursing homes or in their own homes with care provided by the community nursing system, had been admitted to one of two hospitals in southern Sweden, one university hospital and one local hospital. A total of 69 patient-transfers were included. Of these, 34 patients were admitted to hospital whereas 35 were discharged from hospital. Main outcome measure: Percentage medication errors of all medications i.e. any error in the process of prescribing, dispensing, or administering a drug, and whether these had adverse... (More)
Objective: The aims were to evaluate the frequency and nature of errors in medication when patients are transferred between primary and secondary care. Method: Elderly primary health care patients (> 65 years) living in nursing homes or in their own homes with care provided by the community nursing system, had been admitted to one of two hospitals in southern Sweden, one university hospital and one local hospital. A total of 69 patient-transfers were included. Of these, 34 patients were admitted to hospital whereas 35 were discharged from hospital. Main outcome measure: Percentage medication errors of all medications i.e. any error in the process of prescribing, dispensing, or administering a drug, and whether these had adverse consequences or not. Results: There were 142 medication errors out of 758 transfers of medications. The patients in this study used on an average more than 10 drugs before, during and after hospital stay. On an average, there were two medication errors each time a patient was transferred between primary and secondary care. When patients were discharged from the hospital, the usage of a specific medication dispensing system constituted a significant risk for medication errors. The most common error when patients were transferred to the hospital was inadvertent withdrawal of drugs. When patients left the hospital the most common error was that drugs were erroneously added. Conclusion: Medication errors are common when elderly patients are transferred between primary and secondary care. Improvement in documentation and transferring data about elderly patients' medications could reduce these errors. The specific medication dispensing system that has been used in order to increase safety in medication dispensing does not seem to be a good instrument to reduce the number of errors in transferring data about medication. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
drug use, drug related problems, elderly, integrated care, errors, medication, pharmaceutical care, Sweden
in
PHARMACY WORLD & SCIENCE
volume
27
issue
2
pages
116 - 120
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000229273000011
  • pmid:15999922
  • scopus:19944370476
ISSN
0928-1231
DOI
10.1007/s11096-004-3705-y
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8a9e2afa-ae80-421f-905a-e2d54c0f006f (old id 239963)
date added to LUP
2007-08-20 08:41:30
date last changed
2017-10-22 04:38:32
@article{8a9e2afa-ae80-421f-905a-e2d54c0f006f,
  abstract     = {Objective: The aims were to evaluate the frequency and nature of errors in medication when patients are transferred between primary and secondary care. Method: Elderly primary health care patients (> 65 years) living in nursing homes or in their own homes with care provided by the community nursing system, had been admitted to one of two hospitals in southern Sweden, one university hospital and one local hospital. A total of 69 patient-transfers were included. Of these, 34 patients were admitted to hospital whereas 35 were discharged from hospital. Main outcome measure: Percentage medication errors of all medications i.e. any error in the process of prescribing, dispensing, or administering a drug, and whether these had adverse consequences or not. Results: There were 142 medication errors out of 758 transfers of medications. The patients in this study used on an average more than 10 drugs before, during and after hospital stay. On an average, there were two medication errors each time a patient was transferred between primary and secondary care. When patients were discharged from the hospital, the usage of a specific medication dispensing system constituted a significant risk for medication errors. The most common error when patients were transferred to the hospital was inadvertent withdrawal of drugs. When patients left the hospital the most common error was that drugs were erroneously added. Conclusion: Medication errors are common when elderly patients are transferred between primary and secondary care. Improvement in documentation and transferring data about elderly patients' medications could reduce these errors. The specific medication dispensing system that has been used in order to increase safety in medication dispensing does not seem to be a good instrument to reduce the number of errors in transferring data about medication.},
  author       = {Midlöv, Patrik and Bergkvist, Anna and Bondesson, Åsa ÅB and Eriksson, Tommy and Höglund, Peter},
  issn         = {0928-1231},
  keyword      = {drug use,drug related problems,elderly,integrated care,errors,medication,pharmaceutical care,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {116--120},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {PHARMACY WORLD & SCIENCE},
  title        = {Medication errors when transferring elderly patients between primary health care and hospital care},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11096-004-3705-y},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2005},
}