Table 3

Model estimates of factors associated with prescribing errors

VariableRate ratio95% CIP value
Legal/procedural errors
  Interruptions while prescribing (any vs none)1.080.77 to 1.510.66
  Multitasking while prescribing (any vs none)1.861.35 to 2.56<0.001
  Doctor’s seniority*
   Consultant (reference)1
   Registrar1.270.92 to 1.750.14
   Senior resident medical officer0.530.37 to 0.75<0.001
   Resident medical officer0.710.45 to 1.120.145
  Doctor’s OSPAN score0.98†0.97 to 0.99<0.001
  Doctor’s sleep during previous night
   Above average0.890.66 to 1.220.48
   Average (reference)1
   Below average1.330.76 to 2.300.32
Clinical errors
  Interruptions while prescribing (any vs none)2.821.23 to 6.490.015
  Multitasking while prescribing (any vs none)1.910.79 to 4.650.154
  Patient’s age1.05‡1.02 to 1.08<0.001
  Doctor’s seniority
    Consultant (reference)1
    Registrar18.582.82 to 122.560.002
    Senior resident medical officer24.621.62 to 374.090.021
    Resident medical officer55.864.10 to 760.820.003
  Doctor’s age1.07‡1.00 to 1.150.058
  Doctor’s OSPAN score0.98†0.97 to 0.990.002
  Doctor’s sleep during previous night
   Above average1.960.78 to 4.910.153
   Average (reference)1
   Below average16.444.84 to 55.81<0.001
  • *In Australia, specialty training commences at registrar level. Resident medical officers have 1–2 years postgraduate experience; senior resident medical officers 2–3 years postgraduate; registrars>3 years postgraduate and are engaged in specialty emergency medicine training; and staff specialists or consultants have >5 years postgraduate experience, as well as completion of specialty emergency medicine training.

  • †Change in error rate per one-point increase in OSPAN score.

  • ‡Change in error rate per 1-year increase in age.