Prevalence of error-prone abbreviations used in medication prescribing for hospitalised patients: multi-hospital evaluation

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Abstract

The use of error-prone abbreviations in prescribing is a potential cause of misinterpretation that may lead to medication error. This study determined frequency and type of error-prone abbreviations in inpatient medication prescribing across three Australian hospitals. Three hundred and sixty-nine (76.9%) patients had one or more error-prone abbreviations used in prescribing, with 8.4% of orders containing at least one error-prone abbreviation and 29.6% of these considered to be high risk for causing significant harm.

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