Evaluating Medication Errors for Hospitalized Patients: The Jordanian Experience

Zena H Sulaiman, Salim A Hamadi, Nathir M Obeidat, Iman A Basheti


To investigate the rate, frequency, and severity of medication errors detected by a clinical pharmacist at a teaching hospital in Amman, Jordan. Secondly, to determine the risk factors associated with the occurrence of these errors.
This prospective observational study used two methods of medication error detection, direct observation and the chart review method. Both methods were conducted in the internal medicine ward between June and December 2013. In the selected shifts, all procedures performed on the patients were observed and recorded by the clinical pharmacist. The number and types of medication errors were documented. Risk factors associated with more medication errors were then tested using multiple univariate regression to identify potential risk factors. All collected data were entered into SPSS and analyzed accordingly.
The study included 283 patients and 15 nurses. A total of 803 medication errors per 6396 opportunities for errors (12.6%) were observed. The most frequent errors were administration errors (n= 739, 20.2%), transcription errors (n= 40, 1.5%), dispensing errors (n= 21, 0.8%) and prescribing errors (n= 3, 0.1%). Risk factors associated with the total number of detected medication errors were mainly shorter nurse's experience in the ward (R2 = 0.456, p< 0.042) and patients with higher number of prescribed doses (R2 = 0.451, p< 0.025).
This study revealed that medication errors happening in a teaching hospital occur mainly during the administration and transcription stages of the medication use process. Shorter nurse experience and caring for inpatients with more complicated therapeutic regimens can lead to higher rates of medication errors.


Medication errors, prescribing, administration, transcription, Jordan, clinical pharmacist.

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