Comparative prevalence of prescription errors in randomly collected samples from hospital pharmacy and community pharmacy, Punjab, Pakistan

Objective: This study was conducted to analyze and evaluate the prevalence of prescription errors, to optimize the medication effectiveness and patient safety and to encourage the rational prescribing practices. Method: sample of 250 prescriptions was randomly collected from outdoor hospital pharmacy (n=157) and from community pharmacy (n=93) and analyzed manually to estimate the prevalence of prescription errors. Results: Results calculated by using SPPS Version 23 and MS Excel 2013 are as follow; 41.4% prescription collected from outdoor hospital pharmacy presented significant prescribing errors while 54.7% in sample collected from community pharmacy. The prescriptions were segregated and errors were estimated using following parameters; dose, dosage form, dosing frequency, drug-drug interactions, spelling, and duplication of generic, therapy duration and unnecessary drugs. Conclusion: The prevalence of prescribing errors in sample of community pharmacy was 12.37% greater than found in prescriptions of hospital pharmacy. The prevalence of prescription errors can be reduced by physician education, using automated prescribing systems and immediate review of prescription by pharmacist before dispensing of prescription items to patients.
Keywords: Prescribing errors, duplication of therapy, dosage regimen, rational prescribing