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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113-116

Reducing medication errors on a busy tertiary neonatal intensive care unit using a quality improvement approach

1 Division of Neonatal, Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of Pharmacy, Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
3 Department of Information Technology, Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Chokkiyil Ponnambath Hafis Ibrahim
Division of Neonatal, Corniche Hospital, P. O. Box: 3788, Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcn.jcn_130_20

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Objectives: Due to a high rate of reported medication errors on our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a quality improvement project was undertaken to tackle the problem in 2015. The steps included the development of a customized formulary, which was aligned to the electronic prescribing system and the smart pump libraries. The incidence of medication errors after serial introduction of the interventions was studied. Methods: Data on medication errors were extracted from the online incident reporting system. Additional data were derived from the pharmacy database. Trend on errors for the whole year was analyzed. Results: The medication error rate fell from 25.7/1000 to 6.7/1000 patient-days with the implementation of the project which was sustained even after the project implementation was complete. There was a statistically significant reduction in the rate of medication errors over the course of the year. Conclusions: Medication errors are common in neonatal care. A quality improvement approach with enhancements of existing systems significantly reduced the reported medication errors on the local NICU.

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