Published: 2020-05-21

Medication errors reported in a tertiary care private hospital in Eastern India: a three years experience

Subhrojyoti Bhowmick, Shubham Jana, Adrija Bandyopadhyay, Debarati Kundu, Meena Banerjee, Anupam Das, Sujit KarPurkayastha


Background: Medication errors (MEs) can cause significant harm to patients. The MEs identified through reporting processes currently report only a fraction of the actual number of MEs. Data about MEs is limited in India, especially from eastern and north-eastern parts of India. The objective of this study was to analyse the various types of Medication errors reported in a tertiary care private hospital in Eastern India. The aim was to determine the various factors associated with these errors and steps to be taken to reduce the MEs in this healthcare setup.

Methods: We carried out a prospective passive surveillance study over the course of 3 years (2016-2018) on 50,822 admitted patients after obtaining approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee. A detailed root-cause analysis was performed for every reported error by a team of healthcare quality professionals and clinical pharmacists along with a clinical pharmacologist followed by appropriate preventive and corrective actions.

Results: In our study, a total number of 88 medication errors were reported from a sample size of 50,822 (0.0017%). 61 of the reported MEs were administration errors (69.3%). Higher preponderance of medication errors was seen in male patients (53.1%) in comparison to female patients (46.9%).

Conclusions: In this study gross under-reporting of MEs were observed which is in line with previously published studies in India. The reasons reported for gross under-reporting can function as an effective tool to ensure improved reporting of MEs and implementation of mitigation strategies.


Medication error, Eastern India, Private hospital, Administration errors, Prescription error

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