Table 1

Number and percentages of prescribing errors across all 11 wards studied

Type of prescribing errorNo of errors (percentage of all errors)Examples
Incomplete prescriptions161 (41.2)Missing essential information in the prescription, such as missing the route of administration, the dose intended by the prescriber or prescriber’s signature
Use of abbreviations94 (24.0)15 mmol of NaPO4 written instead of sodium phosphate
Incorrect dose44 (11.3)A 6-month-old patient in NICU was prescribed morphine sulfate 5 mg instead of the correct dose of 96 µg
Incorrect frequency26 (6.6)A doctor prescribed metronidazole 45 mg intravenous twice daily instead of the correct frequency of three times a day
Illegible prescriptions14 (3.6)The prescriber wrote ‘i’ on the frequency section of the prescription; when contacted, the prescriber said ‘it means to be given at night’
Incorrect rate of infusion14 (3.6)Doctor prescribed midazolam intravenous infusion 250 mg at a rate of 6 mg/kg/min; the rate should be 6 µg/kg/min
Incorrect route5 (1.3)A doctor prescribed haloperidol to be given via the intravenous route instead of orally
Miscellaneous33 (8.4)A doctor prescribed oral clonazepam 20 mg twice daily instead of the intended drug—clobazam
A prescription of diclofenac for a patient on warfarin (drug interaction)