Nova Scotia medical errors represent about 0.1% of all prescriptions dispensed

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Nova Scotia medical errors represent about 0.1% of all prescriptions dispensed
Nova Scotia medical errors represent about 0.1% of all prescriptions dispensed

“Of all of the errors reported the vast majority are those that are intercepted that are identified and corrected,” says Registrar with the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists Bev Zwicker.

A new study shows provincially, pharmacies made almost 100,000 errors related to medication between October 2010 and June 2017.

The study was published in the online journal CMAJ Open on Tuesday and tracked information from 301 community pharmacies.

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Registrar with the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists Bev Zwicker says it’s important to note overall, there were nearly 91 million prescriptions handed out over this time.

She says the numbers show 82 per cent of the errors did not reach patients and less than one per cent resulted in any harm.

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“Of all of the errors reported the vast majority are those that are intercepted that are identified and corrected and again, what we learn from that is that pharmacists are engaged,” says Zwicker.

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Most errors that were recorded according to Zwicker, included wrong dosage or possibly an mistake in the frequency recommended to take the medication.

“That number, 100,000 represents approximately 0.1 per cent of all prescriptions that are dispensed,” Zwicker says.

She says the college will be using this information to improve their service.

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