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Drug-dispensing errors in the hospital pharmacy

Tânia Azevedo Anacleto, Edson Perini, Mário Borges Rosa, Cibele Comini César


OBJECTIVE: To determine the dispensing error rate and to identify factors associated with them, and to propose prevention actions. METHODS: A cross-sectional study focusing on the occurrence of dispensing errors in a general hospital in Belo Horizonte that uses a mixed system (a combination of multidose and unit dose systems) of collective and individualized dosing. RESULTS: A total of 422 prescription order forms were analyzed, registering 81.8% with at least 1 dispensing error. Opportunities for errors were higher in the pretyped prescription order forms (odds ratio = 4.5; P <.001), in those with 9 or more drugs (odds ratio = 4.0; P <.001), and with those for injectable drugs (odds ratio = 5.0; P <.001). One of the teams of professionals had a higher chance of errors (odds ratio = 2.0; P =.02). A multivariate analysis ratified these results. CONCLUSIONS: The dispensing system at the pharmacy can produce many latent failures and does not have an adequate control; it has several conditions that predispose it to the occurrence of errors, contributing to the high rate reported.


Medication errors;Dispensing errors;Drugs;Hospital pharmacy;Adverse events

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1807-59322007000300007

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