Table 2

Examples of procedural and legal prescribing errors identified

Error typeMedication orderDescription of error
Incomplete orderOxycodone 5–10 mg orally when required, up to a maximum dose of 20 mgFrequency omitted from order
Incomplete orderMorphine 2.5 mg subcutaneously every 4 hours when requiredMaximum daily dose omitted from order
Unclear orderHeparin 5000 units subcutaneously twice dailyAbbreviation ‘SC’ used to indicate route, but this was unclear and looked like ‘SL’
Unapproved abbreviationSimvastatin 40 mg orally at nightAbbreviation ‘on’ used to indicate at night