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High Prevalence of Medication Errors in a Secondary-level Lithuanian Hospital: A Prospective Cross-sectional Observational Study
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  • Jogaile Butauskaite,
  • Austeja Zumbakyte,
  • Lauryna Aukstikalne,
  • Jolita Pancere,
  • Skaiste Zukaitiene,
  • Egle Karinauske
Jogaile Butauskaite
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Medical Academy
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Austeja Zumbakyte
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Medical Academy
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Lauryna Aukstikalne
Vilniaus universiteto ligonine Santaros klinikos
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Jolita Pancere
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Hospital Kauno klinikos
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Skaiste Zukaitiene
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Medical Academy
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Egle Karinauske
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Medical Academy

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract Aim As the population continues to age, the occurrence of chronic illnesses and comorbidities that often necessitate the use of polypharmacy has been on the rise. Polypharmacy, among other factors that tend to coincide with chronic diseases such as obesity, impaired kidney and liver function, and older age, can increase the risk of medication errors (MEs). Our study aims to evaluate the prevalence of MEs in the Internal medicine, Cardiology, and Neurology departments at the secondary level university hospital. Methods We conducted a prospective observational study of 145 patients electronic or paper-based data of inpatient prescriptions and patients’ pharmacokinetic risk factors, such as an impairment of renal and/or hepatic function, weight, and age. Results All included patients collectively received 1252 prescribed drugs. The median (Q1; Q3) number of drugs per patient was 8 (7;10). At least one ME was identified in 133 out of the 145 patients, indicating a significantly higher prevalence than hypothesized (91.7% vs. 50%; p < 0.001). There was moderate, positive correlation between the quantity of prescribed drugs and the number of MEs, meaning that the more drugs are prescribed, the higher the number of identified MEs (Spearman’s rho = 0.428; p < 0.001). Conclusion These findings suggest that there is a need of continuous medication education activity for prescribing physicians, continuous evaluation of prescription appropriateness to objectively identify the MEs, and to contribute to more rational patient treatment.
14 Mar 2024Submitted to British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
15 Mar 2024Assigned to Editor
15 Mar 2024Submission Checks Completed
15 Mar 2024Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Apr 2024Reviewer(s) Assigned