A Survey on the Causes of Medication Errors in a Government Hospital in Kumasi
The objective of this survey was to identify the causes of medication administration errors emanating from patients and health-care professionals (Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians). Structured questionnaire were administered to 50 Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians; and 50 patients at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi; making a total of one hundred (100) respondents. The results indicated that 46% of the patients failed to describe the symptoms of their ailments fully to the prescriber; 66% failed to inform the prescribers of known drug allergies, and 79% of them did not reveal non-prescription drugs they may already be taking which may interact adversely with drugs prescribed for them. Thirty per cent
of the patients were unable to understand dosing instructions. Most of the Pharmacists and Technicians (52%) failed to inform patients of the effects of confirming non-prescription drugs and prescribed drugs. Also, 76% failed to monitor compliance by asking relevant questions during follow-up visits, and for prescription refills. Twenty-four per cent of the Pharmacists and Technicians failed to check for drug-drug interaction on prescriptions, and 26% did not cross-check age of patients on each prescription. This survey revealed that both patients on one hand, and pharmaceutical health workers on the other, contribute significantly to medication rrors. It is recommended therefore that public education be organized by stakeholders, to help patients know their responsibilities in reducing medication errors. There is also the need to educate all pharmaceutical health-workers, especially Pharmacists and pharmacy Technicians, through continual professional development programmes, to rise up to their responsibilities of
patient-oriented care, in order to reduce, if not eradicate medication administration errors in Ghana.