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Prescriptions analysis by clinical pharmacists in the post‐operative period: a 4‐year prospective study

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Clinical pharmacists can help prevent medication errors. However, data are scarce on their role in preventing medication prescription errors in the post‐operative period, a high‐risk period, as at least two prescribers can intervene, the surgeon and the anesthetist. We aimed to describe and quantify clinical pharmacist' intervention (PIs) during validation of drug prescriptions on a computerized physician order entry system in a post‐surgical and post‐transplantation ward. We illustrate these interventions, focusing on one clearly identified recurrent problem.

In a prospective study lasting 4 years, we recorded drug‐related problems (DRPs) detected by pharmacists and whether the physician accepted the PI when prescription modification was suggested.

Among 7005 orders, 1975 DRPs were detected. The frequency of PIs remained constant throughout the study period, with 921 PIs (47%) accepted, 383 (19%) refused and 671 (34%) not assessable. The most frequent DRP concerned improper administration mode (26%), drug interactions (21%) and overdosage (20%). These resulted in a change in the method of administration (25%), dose adjustment (24%) and drug discontinuation (23%) with 307 drugs being concerned by at least one PI. Paracetamol was involved in 26% of overdosage PIs. Erythromycin as prokinetic agent, presented a recurrent risk of potentially severe drug–drug interactions especially with other QT interval‐prolonging drugs. Following an educational seminar targeting this problem, the rate of acceptation of PI concerning this DRP increased.

Pharmacists detected many prescription errors that may have clinical implications and could be the basis for educational measures.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-09-01

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