Medication errors (MEs) often prelude guilt and fear in health care professionals (HCPs), thereby resulting in under-reporting and further compromising patient safety. To improve patient safety, we conducted a study on the implementation of a voluntary medication error-reporting and monitoring programme. The ME reporting system was established using the principles based on prospective, voluntary, open, anonymous, and stand-alone surveillance in a tertiary care teaching hospital located in South India. A prospective observational study was carried out for three years and a voluntary Medication Error-reporting Form was developed to report medication errors MEs that had occurred in patients of either sex were included in the study, and the reporters were given the choice to remain anonymous. The analysis was carried out and discussed with HCPs to minimise the recurrence. A total of 1310 medication errors were reported among 20,256 hospitalised patients and the incidence was 6.4%. Common aetiologies were administration errors [501 (38.2%)], followed by prescribing and transcribing errors [363 (28%)]. Root-cause of these MEs were distractions, workload, and communications. Analgesics/antipyretics (19.4%) and antibiotics (15.7%) were the most commonly implicated classes of medications. A clinical pharmacist initiated non-punitive anonymous ME reporting system could improve patient safety.
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