Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash). 2003 Mar-Apr;43(2):191-200.

National observational study of prescription dispensing accuracy and safety in 50 pharmacies.

Author information

1
Center for Pharmacy Operations and Designs, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University, Ala. 36849-5506, USA. flynnel@auburn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To measure dispensing accuracy rates in 50 pharmacies located in 6 cities across the United States and describe the nature and frequency of the errors detected.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional descriptive study.

SETTINGS:

Chain, independent, and health-system pharmacies (located in hospitals or managed care organizations).

PARTICIPANTS:

Pharmacy staff at randomly selected pharmacies in each city who accepted an invitation to participate.

INTERVENTION:

Observation by a pharmacist in each pharmacy for 1 day, with a goal of inspecting 100 prescriptions for dispensing errors (defined as any deviation from the prescriber's order).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Dispensing errors on new and refill prescriptions.

RESULTS:

Data were collected between July 2000 and April 2001. The overall dispensing accuracy rate was 98.3% (77 errors among 4,481 prescriptions; range, 87.2%-100.0%; 95.0% confidence interval, +/- 0.4%). Accuracy rates did not differ significantly by pharmacy type or city. Of the 77 identified errors, 5 (6.5%) were judged to be clinically important.

CONCLUSION:

Dispensing errors are a problem on a national level, at a rate of about 4 errors per day in a pharmacy filling 250 prescriptions daily. An estimated 51.5 million errors occur during the filling of 3 billion prescriptions each year.

PMID:
12688437
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center