Prevalence of medication errors among paediatric inpatients: systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The risk of medication errors is high in paediatric inpatient settings. However, estimates of the prevalence of medication errors have not accounted for heterogeneity across studies in error identification methods and definitions, nor contextual differences across wards and the use of electronic or paper medication charts. Objective: Our aim was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide separate estimates of the prevalence of medication errors among paediatric inpatients, depending on hospital ward and the use of electronic or paper medication charts, that address differences in error identification methods and definitions. Methods: We systematically searched five databases to identify studies published between January 2000 and December 2018 that assessed medication error rates by medication chart audit, direct observation or a combination of methods. Results: We identified 71 studies, 19 involved paediatric wards using electronic charts. Most studies assessed prescribing errors with few studies assessing administration errors. Estimates varied by ward type. Studies of paediatric wards using electronic charts generally reported a reduced error prevalence compared to those using paper, although there were some inconsistencies. Error detection methods impacted the rate of administration errors in studies of multiple wards, however, no other difference was found. Definition of medication error did not have a consistent impact on reported error rates. Conclusions: Medication errors are a frequent occurrence in paediatric inpatient settings, particularly in intensive care wards and emergency departments. Hospitals using electronic charts tended to have a lower rate of medication errors compared to those using paper charts. Future research employing controlled designs is needed to determine the true impact of electronic charts and other interventions on medication errors and associated harm among hospitalized children.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1329-1342
Number of pages14
JournalDrug Safety
Volume42
Issue number11
Early online date9 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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Medication Errors
Pediatrics
Meta-Analysis
Inpatients
Hospitalized Child
Critical Care
Hospital Emergency Service
Observation
Databases
Error detection

Cite this

@article{7f7e55e71e0b4fdbbd7c02dbd495ee11,
title = "Prevalence of medication errors among paediatric inpatients: systematic review and meta-analysis",
abstract = "Introduction: The risk of medication errors is high in paediatric inpatient settings. However, estimates of the prevalence of medication errors have not accounted for heterogeneity across studies in error identification methods and definitions, nor contextual differences across wards and the use of electronic or paper medication charts. Objective: Our aim was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide separate estimates of the prevalence of medication errors among paediatric inpatients, depending on hospital ward and the use of electronic or paper medication charts, that address differences in error identification methods and definitions. Methods: We systematically searched five databases to identify studies published between January 2000 and December 2018 that assessed medication error rates by medication chart audit, direct observation or a combination of methods. Results: We identified 71 studies, 19 involved paediatric wards using electronic charts. Most studies assessed prescribing errors with few studies assessing administration errors. Estimates varied by ward type. Studies of paediatric wards using electronic charts generally reported a reduced error prevalence compared to those using paper, although there were some inconsistencies. Error detection methods impacted the rate of administration errors in studies of multiple wards, however, no other difference was found. Definition of medication error did not have a consistent impact on reported error rates. Conclusions: Medication errors are a frequent occurrence in paediatric inpatient settings, particularly in intensive care wards and emergency departments. Hospitals using electronic charts tended to have a lower rate of medication errors compared to those using paper charts. Future research employing controlled designs is needed to determine the true impact of electronic charts and other interventions on medication errors and associated harm among hospitalized children.",
author = "Gates, {Peter J.} and Baysari, {Melissa T.} and Madlen Gazarian and Raban, {Magdalena Z.} and Sophie Meyerson and Westbrook, {Johanna I.}",
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Prevalence of medication errors among paediatric inpatients : systematic review and meta-analysis. / Gates, Peter J.; Baysari, Melissa T.; Gazarian, Madlen; Raban, Magdalena Z.; Meyerson, Sophie; Westbrook, Johanna I.

In: Drug Safety, Vol. 42, No. 11, 11.2019, p. 1329-1342.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prevalence of medication errors among paediatric inpatients

T2 - Drug Safety

AU - Gates, Peter J.

AU - Baysari, Melissa T.

AU - Gazarian, Madlen

AU - Raban, Magdalena Z.

AU - Meyerson, Sophie

AU - Westbrook, Johanna I.

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Y1 - 2019/11

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