Table 1

Total error frequency, type and potential severity rating

Type of errorTotal number of errorsError frequency
NCC MERP severity rating
Number of patients=478, Number of medications=1164EDCBA
Label not complete according to policy†69960.1609882
Tubing not tagged according to policy†40735.0375131
Unauthorised medication28124.1230150
Smart pump or drug library not used12010.311244
Wrong rate544.62493
Omission of intravenous fluids/medications544.613320
Expired drug242.112012
Wrong dose232.02012
Pump setting error60.56
Wrong intravenous fluids/medications30.33
Wrong concentration30.33
Patient ID error20.22
Oversight allergy10.11
All errors1691145.314147616194
Policy violation errors110695.09849113
Medication errors49742.714492
  • *Error frequency=number of errors/total number of medication administrations observed; percentages in this table do not add to 100 because some medications had more than one error.

  • †Policy violation error.

  • NCC MERP, National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention.