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Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
ISSN: 1394-195X
Vol. 11, No. 2, 2004, pp. 52-58
Bioline Code: mj04020
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2004, pp. 52-58

Dellemin Che Abdullah, Noor Shufiza Ibrahim, Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim


The main aim of this study was to determine the medication errors among geriatrics at the outpatient pharmacy in a teaching hospital in Kelantan and the strategies to minimize the prevalence. A retrospective study was conducted that involved screening of prescription for a one-month period (March 2001). Only 15.35% (1601 prescription) of a total 10,429 prescriptions were for geriatrics. The prescriptions that were found to have medication errors was 403. Therefore, the prevalence of medication errors per day was approximately 20 cases. Generally, the errors between both genders were found to be comparable and to be the highest for Malays and at the age of 60-64 years old. Administrative errors was recorded to be the highest which included patient's particulars and validity of the prescriptions (70.22%) and drugs that available in HUSM (16.13%). Whereas the total of prescribing errors were low. Under prescribing errors were pharmaceutical error (0.99%) and clinical error (8.68%). Sixteen cases or 3.98% had more than 1 error. The highest prevalence went to geriatrics who received more than nine drugs (32.16%), geriatrics with more than 3 clinical diagnosis (10.06%), geriatrics who visited specialist clinics (37.52%) and treated by the specialists ( 31.07%). The estimated cost for the 403 medication errors in March was RM9,327 or RM301 per day that included the cost of drugs and humanistic cost. The projected cost of medication errors per year was RM 111,924. In conclusion, it is very clear that the role of pharmacist is very great in preventing and minimizing the medication errors beside the needs of correct prescription writing and other strategies by all of the heath care components.

medication errors, geriatrics, prescription screening, pharmacists, strategies to minimize

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