We have previously studied system failures involved in medication errors using a limited number of root cause analyses as source. The aim of this study was to describe a larger number of medication errors with respect to harm, involved medicines and involved system problems - thus providing information for the development of IT-based decision support. We evaluated 3,520 medication error reports derived from 12 months of consecutive reporting from 13 hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark. We found 0.65% errors with serious harm and 16% with moderate harm. A small number of medicines were involved in the majority of the errors. The problems in the medication error process were heterogeneous. Some were related to specific medicines and others were related to the computerized order entry system. Accordingly decision support targeted at specific medicines and improved IT systems are part of the continuing work to reduce the frequency of medication errors.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of the clinical pharmacy service in a Swedish hospital according to the Lund Integrated Medicine Management (LIMM) model, in terms of the acceptance and clinical significance of the recommendations made by clinical pharmacists.
The clinical significance of the recommendations made by clinical pharmacists was assessed for a random sample of inpatients receiving the clinical pharmacy service in 2007. Two independent physicians retrospectively ranked the recommendations emerging from errors in the patients' current medication list and actual drug-related problems according to Hatoum, with rankings ranging between 1 (adverse significance) and 6 (extremely significant).
The random sample comprised 132 patients (out of 800 receiving the service). The clinical significance of 197 recommendations was assessed. The physicians accepted and implemented 178 (90%) of the clinical pharmacists' recommendations. Most of these recommendations, 170 (83%), were ranked 3 (somewhat significant) or higher.
This study provides further evidence of the quality of the LIMM model and confirms that the inclusion of clinical pharmacists in a multi-professional team can improve drug therapy for inpatients. The very high level of acceptance by the physicians of the pharmacists' recommendations further demonstrates the effectiveness of the process.
The inhalation of racemic adrenalin is an important part of the treatment of inflammatory airway obstruction in children. In Norway during the last few years there have been several cases of adrenal solutions intended only for inhalation being accidentally administered as intravenous injections. The solution for inhalation contains an adrenalin concentration 110 times greater than the adrenalin intended for emergency use (0.1 mg/ml). The instant consequences of intravenous injections of inhalation adrenalin include arterial hypertension followed by hypotension, cardiac ischemia and cardiac insufficiency, pulmonary oedema, and respiratory failure and the need for artificial ventilation. The clinical picture in the three patients we describe was very dramatic. The injected doses were 0.16-1.1 mg l-adrenalin per kg body weight. All children survived without sequelae. In order to reduce the risk of accidentally administering intravenous injections of adrenalin intended for inhalation a set of guidelines is being proposed.