Factors influencing in-hospital prescribing errors: A systematic review

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Aim: In-hospital prescribing errors (PEs) may result in patient harm, prolonged hospitalization and hospital (re)admission. These events are associated with pressure on healthcare services and significant healthcare costs. To develop targeted interventions to prevent or reduce in-hospital PEs, identification and understanding of facilitating and protective factors influencing in-hospital PEs in current daily practice is necessary, adopting a Safety-II perspective. The aim of this systematic review was to create an overview of all factors reported in the literature, both protective and facilitating, as influencing in-hospital PEs. Methods: PubMed, EMBASE.com and the Cochrane Library (via Wiley) were searched, according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement, for studies that identified factors influencing in-hospital PEs. Both qualitative and quantitative study designs were included. Results: Overall, 19 articles (6 qualitative and 13 quantitative studies) were included and 40 unique factors influencing in-hospital PEs were identified. These factors were categorized into five domains according to the Eindhoven classification (‘organization-related’, ‘prescriber-related’, ‘prescription-related’, ‘technology-related’ and ‘unclassified’) and visualized in an Ishikawa (Fishbone) diagram. Most of the identified factors (87.5%; n = 40) facilitated in-hospital PEs. The most frequently identified facilitating factor (39.6%; n = 19) was ‘insufficient (drug) knowledge, prescribing skills and/or experience of prescribers’. Conclusion: The findings of this review could be used to identify points of engagement for future intervention studies and help hospitals determine how to optimize prescribing. A multifaceted intervention, targeting multiple factors might help to circumvent the complex challenge of in-hospital PEs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Early online date2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

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