Prevalence of error-prone abbreviations used in medication prescribing for hospitalised patients: multi-hospital evaluation

Intern Med J. 2012 Mar;42(3):e19-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02697.x.

Abstract

The use of error-prone abbreviations in prescribing is a potential cause of misinterpretation that may lead to medication error. This study determined frequency and type of error-prone abbreviations in inpatient medication prescribing across three Australian hospitals. Three hundred and sixty-nine (76.9%) patients had one or more error-prone abbreviations used in prescribing, with 8.4% of orders containing at least one error-prone abbreviation and 29.6% of these considered to be high risk for causing significant harm.

MeSH terms

  • Abbreviations as Topic*
  • Australia
  • Drug Prescriptions* / standards
  • Drug Prescriptions* / statistics & numerical data
  • Electronic Prescribing
  • Handwriting
  • Hospital Records / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Community / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Convalescent / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, Teaching / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medical Audit
  • Medication Errors* / prevention & control
  • Medication Systems, Hospital
  • Multi-Institutional Systems / statistics & numerical data
  • Victoria