Drug-dispensing errors in the hospital pharmacy

Erros de dispensação de medicamentos em farmácia hospitalar

Tânia Azevedo Anacleto Edson Perini Mário Borges Rosa Cibele Comini César About the authors

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


Faculdade de Medicina / USP Rua Dr Ovídio Pires de Campos, 225 - 6 and., 05403-010 São Paulo SP - Brazil, Tel.: (55 11) 2661-6235 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: clinics@hc.fm.usp.br