Quality Improvement Project to Reduce Prescription Errors in Patients Hospitalized due to Cardiovascular Diseases

Leonardo Adrián Seoane, Mariano N. Benzadon, Gustavo Daquarti, Soledad Mitrione, Nicolás March Vecchio, Clara Ametrano, Juan F. Furmento, Diego Conde, Alberto Alves de Lima


Background: Prescription errors are a common problem which threatens hospitalized patients’ safety, particularly in critical care areas. Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a quality improvement project to reduce prescription errors in patients hospitalized due to cardiovascular diseases. Methods: A quality improvement project was implemented to reduce in-hospital prescription errors. The three main components of the project were: mandatory supervision of indications, use of a software program that organizes physicians’ indications by biological systems, and implementation of a rule with universal format for the prescription of medications, including a dictionary of abbreviations and normalized dilutions. Before the implementation of these changes, the number of weakly prescription errors was assessed, stratified by hospitalization area. The impact of the project was analyzed by dividing the samples into four consecutive 9-week periods (one period before the intervention and three periods after the intervention), comparing the number of errors detected in each period. The indications of 180 patients were randomly evaluated in each period. Results: A total of 720 prescriptions were analyzed. The implementation of an improvement project reduced the number of errors rapidly and consistently over time (median of 85 before the intervention, IQR 70-95, and 26 after the intervention, IQR 21-37; p=0.0004). Conclusion: The quality improvement project produced a significant reduction in the number of prescription errors in patients hospitalized due to cardiovascular disease

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Revista argentina de cardiología. ISSN en línea 1850-3748. Argentine journal of cardiology (English ed. Online ISSN 2314-2286) Sociedad Argentina de Cardiología. Azcuénaga 980 (C1115AAD),Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, República Argentina. Tel. (54 11) 4961-6027/8/9 Fax: 4961-6020 www.sac.org.ar revista@sac.org.ar