An Observational Study to Evaluate The Factors
which Influence The Dispensing Errors in The
Hospital Pharmacy of A Tertiary Care Hospital
Leelavathi D Acharya
Selection Grade Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy Practice
Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal
University, Manipal â€“ 576104 Karnataka, India.
Phone : (0820) 2922403
E-mail : email@example.com
Introduction: Dispensing errors are any discrepancies between the written instructions which are found on the prescription order form and the accomplishment of these instructions by the pharmacy, when the drug is dispensed to the wards or hospital services.
Objective: The hospital pharmacy of a tertiary care hospital in southern India has four satellite pharmacies and has more than 7900 medicine brands in its formulary. These pharmacies handle more than thousand prescriptions per day. There are chances of errors during the dispensing of the medications. Based on this, the present study aimed to study and evaluate the rate of occurrence of the dispensing errors and the factors which contributed to the dispensing errors.
Materials and Methods: A prospective observational study was carried for a period of eight months, at two pharmacies of the hospital (out-patient/ in-patient pharmacy), at various stages of dispensing and time schedules.
Results: A total of 160 dispensing errors were found in 12,340 prescriptions that were monitored, out of the 57,109 prescriptions which were received in both the pharmacies during the study period. The overall rate of the dispensing errors which was found in both the pharmacies was 1.29%. It was seen that 11am-3pm was the peak time at the hospital, when the maximum numbers of errors occurred. The stage of the dispensing process where the maximum numbers of dispensing errors occurred was at the filling stage. It was observed that the maximum number of errors occurred in the in-patient pharmacy, in comparison to the outpatient pharmacy. The different types of dispensing errors that were observed during the study were drug omission, wrong quantity of the drugs, wrong drugs, wrong strength of the drugs and wrong dosage form of the drugs.
Conclusion: This study concludes that during peak hours, an insufficient number of pharmacists was found to be the most important factor which contributed to the dispensing errors. This also shows the need for a sufficient number of pharmacists to be posted during the peak hours at the filling section and in the in-patient pharmacy to minimize the dispensing errors.