Complex pharmacological regimens employed in outpatient cancer treatment and lagging use of health information technology in the specialty have created alarmingly high rates of medication errors, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 Journal of Clinical Oncology.
A review of 1,379 patients’ medical charts and nearly 12,000 medication doses at four oncology clinics around the country found a 7.1% rate of outpatient medication errors in adults — more than double the rate found in a December 2005 study. Slightly less than 1% of the adult medication errors caused injury.
The rate of medication errors among children was 18.8%, with 3.4% of the errors causing injury. More than half the errors in all patients had the potential to cause injury.
The whole shebang.