Drug errors due to communication

January 10, 2011

Most frequent medication errors and adverse drug events in primary care practices are due to communication problems and lack of knowledge, according to a recent study.

Most frequent medication errors and adverse drug events in primary care practices are due to communication problems and lack of knowledge, according to a recent study.

Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine studied urban, suburban, and rural primary care practices that used MEADERS (Medication Error and Adverse Drug Event Reporting System) for 10 weeks, submitting 507 confidential event reports. Of the reports, 70% included medication errors only, whereas 2% included both medication errors and adverse drug events. Time spent reporting an event was 4 minutes.

Written, verbal, and transcription problems resulted in errors such as the wrong medication given or incorrect label. The results appeared in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.