International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine - Volume 23, issue 1
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The International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine is concerned with rendering the practice of medicine as safe as it can be; that involves promoting the highest possible quality of care, but also examining how those risks which are inevitable can be contained and managed.
This is not exclusively a drugs journal. Recently it was decided to include in the subtitle of the journal three items to better indicate the scope of the journal, i.e. patient safety, pharmacovigilance and liability and the Editorial Board was adjusted accordingly. For each of these sections an Associate Editor was invited. We especially want to emphasize patient safety. Our journal wants to publish high quality interdisciplinary papers related to patient safety, not the ones for domain specialists. For quite some time we have also been devoting some pages in every issue to what we simply call WHO news. This affinity with WHO underlines both the International character of the journal and the subject matter we want to cover. Basic research, reports of clinical experience and overviews will all be considered for publication, but since major reviews of the literature are often written at the invitation of the Editorial Board it is generally advisable to consult with the Editor in advance. Submission of news items will be appreciated, as will be the contribution of letters on topics which have been dealt with in the journal.
Abstract: This is Sudan's first cross sectional exploratory study aimed to analyze the appropriateness of prescriptions written in different health settings in Wad Medani, Sudan. Two pretested questionnaires were used to collect information about the possible causes of medication errors from randomly selected practicing physicians and pharmacists. The sample consisted of 2000 prescriptions collected in the period of August and September 2009. There were statistically significant differences between legibility of printed and handwritten prescriptions (p < 0.001), of all prescriptions 43.8% was not accompanied by instructions to the patients and 14% contained potential interactions with different degrees of seriousness, ranging from…minor 1.8%, moderate 8.4% and severe 3.9%. According to the standard classifications of prescription writing, only one prescription (0.1%) was considered ideal with no error encountered, 12.2% of prescriptions contained errors being potentially serious to the patients, 17.8% showed errors of major importance, 6.9% had errors of minor importance and 10.5% contained trivial errors. While of the prescriptions 52.6% were free from errors but they were incomplete, something that could lead to serious patients' harm. The study identified a range of weaknesses in the prescribing phase and proposed a set of recommendations encouraging physicians and pharmacists to work together to avoid such errors.
Abstract: Objectives: This study assesses the ability of Pharmacovigilance Centres (PVCs) to detect medication errors (ME) and to proceed to building Patient Safety (PS) via their information networks and to underline the limits for this challenge. Methods: This was an exploratory study conducted in PVCs members of the World Health Organization International Drug Monitoring network. A questionnaire specifically designed for the needs of the study was sent to a network via a confidential email system. The questionnaire asked for information, progress and improvement made by PVCs in PS and ME. Results: Among the 88 countries, 21 answered. Reporting of Adverse Drug…Reactions (ADRs) by health care professionals (HCP) is mandatory for 42% of PVCs. 100% of countries receive reports from HCP, 66% from patients and 24% from PCCs. ADRs reports are received by all communications means. There is an heterogeneity between countries regarding PVCs and PS activities. Among them, 4 PVCs have the prime activity of PS organization. Conclusion: PVCs are able to detect and analyze ME. There is a need to coordinate efforts between countries to optimize ME detection, and its analysis. Bridges need to be built linking PVCs, PCCs and PS organizations in order to avoid duplication of workload.