J Clin Outcomes Manage
Medication errors: not just a few bad apples
Nicholson D, Hersh W, Gandhi TK, Weingart SN, Bates DW
Abstract Objective: To describe the distribution of medication errors among physicians. Design: Prospective cohort study. Participants and setting: 24 physicians from 4 adult primary care practices in Boston, MA. Measurements: The principal measure was total medication errors per physician. The number of prescriptions written during the study period was also tabulated. Results: 22 of the 24 physicians made at least 1 error. Although there was 1 outlier, the error rate among this cohort of physicians was evenly distributed. Conclusion: The wide distribution of errors among this group of physicians undermines the argument that the majority of medication errors are due to a few bad apples.
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