2002, Number 4
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ABSTRACTObjective: To evaluate errors in writing medical indications and frequency of updating. Materials and methods: A quasi-experimental study was done. The period of updating medical prescriptions was randomly designed in two infant ward settings (26 beds per room), every 24 or 72 h. Errors in writing medical indications were analyzed. Results: 1678 updates were analyzed, 1385 (82.5 %) every 24 h and 293 (17.5 %) every 72 h. Global update error rate (UER) was 8.7 % (170/1678), and global individual indication error rate (IIER) was 4.7 % (415/8709). There were fewer medication errors in 24 updates: UER every 24 h 8 % (133/1652) versus every 72 h 12.6 % (37/293), RR = 0.56 (CI 95 % = 0.38 to 0.76, p 0.0007), IIER 3 % (219/7238) versus 13 % (196/1471), RR = 0.23 (CI 95 % = 0.19 to 0.27, p ‹ 0.000). Principal errors were associated with spelling of drug names. There were minimal potential major errors independent of periodicity for medical indication updating. Conclusions: There were fewer medical indication errors in writing when these were done every 24 h. Spelling of drug names was the most frequent error.
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