Objective To determine the incidence of medication discrepancies in transition points of care of hospitalised children.
Design A prospective observational multicentre study was carried out between February and August 2019. Data collection consisted of the following steps: sociodemographic data collection, clinical interview with the patient’s caregiver, review of patient prescriptions and evaluation of medical records. Medication discrepancies were classified as intentional (documented or undocumented) and unintentional. In addition, discrepancies identified were categorised according to the medication discrepancy taxonomy. Unintentional discrepancies were assessed for potential clinical harm to the patient.
Setting Paediatric clinics of four teaching hospitals in Brazil.
Patients Children aged 1 month–12 years.
Findings A total of 248 children were included, 77.0% (n=191) patients had at least one intentional discrepancy; 20.2% (n=50) patients had at least one unintended discrepancy and 15.3% (n=38) patients had at least one intentional discrepancy and an unintentional one. The reason for the intentional discrepancy was not documented in 49.6% (n=476) of the cases. The most frequent unintentional discrepancy was medication omission (54.1%; n=66). Low potential to cause discomfort was found in 53 (43.4%) unintentional discrepancies, while 55 (45.1%) had the potential to cause moderate discomfort and 14 (11.5%) could potentially cause severe discomfort.
Conclusions Although most medication discrepancies were intentional, the majority of these were not documented by the healthcare professionals. Unintentional discrepancies were often related to medication omission and had a potential risk of causing harm to hospitalised children.
- social work
- health services research
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Contributors GTA-M, TdSA, DCSAdA, SdMS, VTGdM, VMdO, CMF, EFV-P, ARPL and LMSdO contributed to design, data collections and data critical review. GTA-M, CC, LMSdO and DL-J contributed to analysis and results interpretation.
Funding This study was funded by the Notice 428458/2016-5 of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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