Prescribing errors are particularly important in paediatrics where dose calculations are complicated and small errors can cause significant harm. Unfortunately, there is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes an error, so studies often use differing criteria. In addition to this, obtaining statistics on rates of error is problematic as staff may be reluctant to report errors or may not include errors that were corrected before any harm occurred. Prescribing errors can be reduced by improving training, using computerised systems and involving pharmacists in checking drug charts.
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Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.