Differences in recognition of similar medication names between pharmacists and nurses: A retrospective study

Toshikazu Tsuji, Toshihiro Irisa, Shinji Tagawa, Takehiro Kawashiri, Hiroaki Ikesue, Chiyo Kokubu, Akiko Kanaya, Nobuaki Egashira, Satohiro Masuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Differences in error rates between pharmacists and nurses in terms of drug confirmation have not been studied. The purpose of this study was to analyze differences in error rates between pharmacists and nurses from the viewpoint of error categories, and to clarify differences in recognition regarding drug name similarity. Methods: In this study, preparation errors and incidents were classified into three categories (drug strength errors, drug name errors, and drug count errors) to investigate the influence of error categories on pharmacists and nurses. In addition, errors in two categories (drug strength errors and drug name errors) were reclassified into another two error groups, to investigate the influence of drug name similarity on pharmacists and nurses: a "drug name similarity (-) group" and a "drug name similarity (+) group". Then, differences in error rates of pharmacists and those of nurses were analyzed respectively within three categories and two groups. Furthermore, differences in error rates between pharmacists and nurses were analyzed in each of the three categories and two groups. Results: Error rates of pharmacists for both drug strength errors and drug name errors were significantly higher than that for drug count errors, and similar results were obtained for nurses (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in error rates between pharmacists and nurses in each of the three categories. Furthermore, error rate of nurses was significantly higher than that of pharmacists in the drug name similarity (+) group (P < 0.05), while there was no significant difference in error rates between pharmacists and nurses in the drug name similarity (-) group. Conclusions: These results suggest that in contrast to pharmacists, nurses are easily affected by similarities in drug names. Therefore, pharmacists should offer information on medications having plural strengths or similar names to nurses, in order to minimize damage to patients resulting from errors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Health Care and Sciences
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 7 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (nursing)

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