Medication errors with the use of allopurinol and colchicine: A retrospective study of a national, anonymous internet-accessible error reporting system

Ted R Mikuls, Jeffrey R. Curtis, Jeroan J. Allison, Rodney W. Hicks, Kenneth G. Saag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. To more closely assess medication errors in gout care, we examined data from a national, Internet-accessible error reporting program over a 5-year reporting period. Methods. We examined data from the MEDMARX™ database, covering the period from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2003. For allopurinol and colchicine, we examined error severity, source, type, contributing factors, and healthcare personnel involved in errors, and we detailed errors resulting in patient harm. Causes of error and the frequency of other error characteristics were compared for gout medications versus other musculoskeletal treatments using the chi-square statistic. Results. Gout medication errors occurred in 39% (n = 273) of facilities participating in the MEDMARX program. Reported errors were predominantly from the inpatient hospital setting and related to the use of allopurinol (n = 524), followed by colchicine (n = 315), probenecid (n = 50), and sulfinpyrazone (n = 2). Compared to errors involving other musculoskeletal treatments, allopurinol and colchicine errors were more often ascribed to problems with physician prescribing (7% for other therapies versus 23-39% for allopurinol and colchicine, p < 0.0001) and less often due to problems with drug administration or nursing error (50% vs 23-27%, p < 0.0001). Conclusion. Our results suggest that inappropriate prescribing practices are characteristic of errors occurring with the use of allopurinol and colchicine. Physician prescribing practices are a potential target for quality improvement interventions in gout care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-566
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume33
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

Fingerprint

Medication Errors
Allopurinol
Colchicine
Internet
Gout
Retrospective Studies
Sulfinpyrazone
Inappropriate Prescribing
Patient Harm
Physicians
Probenecid
Quality Improvement
Inpatients
Nursing
Research Design
Therapeutics
Databases
Delivery of Health Care
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Allopurinol
  • Colchicine
  • Gout medication error
  • Quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Medication errors with the use of allopurinol and colchicine : A retrospective study of a national, anonymous internet-accessible error reporting system. / Mikuls, Ted R; Curtis, Jeffrey R.; Allison, Jeroan J.; Hicks, Rodney W.; Saag, Kenneth G.

In: Journal of Rheumatology, Vol. 33, No. 3, 01.03.2006, p. 562-566.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mikuls, Ted R ; Curtis, Jeffrey R. ; Allison, Jeroan J. ; Hicks, Rodney W. ; Saag, Kenneth G. / Medication errors with the use of allopurinol and colchicine : A retrospective study of a national, anonymous internet-accessible error reporting system. In: Journal of Rheumatology. 2006 ; Vol. 33, No. 3. pp. 562-566.
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