A qualitative exploration of the underlying causes of preventable drug-related morbidity in primary care, resulting in hospitalisation
Howard, R. L., (2008) A qualitative exploration of the underlying causes of preventable drug-related morbidity in primary care, resulting in hospitalisation. Report. Pharmacy Practice Research Trust , London. pp61. ISBN 9780955696947
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This study has explored the underlying causes of preventable drug-related admissions to hospital, from primary care through semi-structured interviews and review of patients’ medical records. Analysis of the data has revealed that communication failures between different groups of healthcare professionals and between healthcare professionals and patients contribute to preventable drug-related admissions, as do knowledge gaps about medication in both healthcare professionals and patients. In addition, working conditions for community pharmacists severely limit their ability to effectively act as a safety barrier to patients receiving inappropriate medication. Limitations include heavy workloads, lack of access to patients’ clinical information, poor relationships with general practitioners and time restrictions. The results of this study represent an important addition to our understanding of the contribution of human error as an underlying cause of preventable drug-related morbidity, and the factors which contribute to errors occurring in the primary healthcare setting.