Objective: To analyze drug-related adverse events (DRAE) as noted in hospital discharge reports, as well as their severity and drugs involved, and to assess potential avoidability.
Material and methods: A retrospective study for the September-December 2002 period of time in which patients with discharge reports including an ICD-9-CM code E930-E949.9 were selected using the minimum basic data set (MBDS).
Results: DRAEs were detected in 2.15% of all discharge reports, and 229 were retrospectively assessed. In all, 62.45% (n = 143) were DRAEs detected at the Emergency Department, and 37.55% (n = 86) were DRAEs detected during hospitalization. Of these, 57.20% are considered potentially avoidable. Drugs most commonly involved in the outpatient DRAE sample studied included: digoxin (24.47%, avoidable 97.14%) and NSAIDs-opioids (13.98%, avoidable 75%). Inpatient DRAEs included: anticoagulants (30.23%, avoidable 57.69%) and antimicrobials (17.44%, avoidable 26.67%).
Conclusions: The study revealed a high proportion of preventable DRAEs around a small number of drugs. Information to prescribing doctors and procedures for treatment follow-up using a unit dose drug dispensing system may be useful to reduce this.