Nursing

Blog spotlight: Look-alike drugs add to pile of medication errors

Nurse Leader Insider, February 7, 2011

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U.S. researchers report that confusion caused by look-alike and sound-alike drugs account for a large portion of the medication prescription errors found in hospitals.

Researchers reviewed 714,290 orders for painkillers in a large database of pharmacist detected and prevented prescribing errors, and found the overall error rate to be 2.87 per 1,000 prescriptions and that the rate for potentially serious prescribing errors was 0.63 per 1,000. The study found that error rates were even higher when prescribing for children—243 errors in 40,996 orders. The highest rates were due to errors involving drugs that were infrequently prescribed.

Read more of this blog post in the Leader’s Lounge.



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