A poison information centre can provide important assessment and guidance regarding medication errors in nursing homes: A prospective cohort study

Siri Vinther, Søren Bøgevig, Karen Reenberg Eriksen, Nete Brandt Hansen, Tonny Studsgaard Petersen, Kim Peder Dalhoff, Mikkel Bring Christensen

Abstract

The Danish Poison Information Centre (DPIC) regularly receives inquiries about nursing home residents who have been exposed to a medication error. The aim of this prospective cohort study was to describe and discuss the types and consequences of these errors. Data were collected from 1 March 2018 to 31 March 2019. Registered data included characteristics of caller and resident, data related to the suspected medication error, risk assessment and recommendation. Consequences and clinical outcomes were assessed by follow-up telephone calls. Over the study period, the DPIC was consulted about 145 medication errors occurring at Danish nursing homes. The median number of substances administered by error was two (interquartile range 1-5). Hospitalization was recommended in 21% of cases. In one-third of the cases where consultation with the DPIC was done with the resident either on his/her way to or in hospital, hospitalization was found unnecessary, and the resident could have stayed in accustomed surroundings for observation. Follow-up demonstrated that very few medication errors had a severe outcome. This prospective study illustrates that consulting with a poison information centre can qualify risk assessment and potentially reduce hospital admissions following medication errors in a nursing home setting.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBasic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology
ISSN1742-7843
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 4 nov. 2020

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