Study finds errors due to failure to identify common meds

May 1, 2006

A new study by AHRQ shows that physicians and pharmacists fail tocorrectly identify the tablets of three common medications morethan a third of the time. The research suggests that the lack of astandardized system for marking prescription tablets withidentifying codes and symbols can lead to confusion and perhapsmedication errors.

A new study by AHRQ shows that physicians and pharmacists fail to correctly identify the tablets of three common medications more than a third of the time. The research suggests that the lack of a standardized system for marking prescription tablets with identifying codes and symbols can lead to confusion and perhaps medication errors. The study was performed by AHRQ-funded Cook Country Rush Developmental Center for Research in Patient Safety along with researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Researchers tested the ability of 100 hospital pharmacists and physicians to identify the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor (simvastatin, Merck), the sedative lorazepam, and the pain reliever naproxen.

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