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Table 2 Medication incident reports, SA, WA and NSW

From: Medication safety in acute care in Australia: where are we now? Part 1: a review of the extent and causes of medication problems 2002–2008

  SA (pre 2002) [1] WA 03/04 [42] WA 04/05 [43] WA 05/06 [44] NSW 05/06 [45]
Number of incidents 26999 23189 21693 20799 123404
Medication incidents 7155 (26.5%) 23.5%# 24.0%# 5068 (24.4%) 17367 (14.1%)
Outcome
No injury 69%@ 87.0% 85.0% 85.0% 82%*
Most common type of medication incident
Omission 27.9% 36.0% 36.0% 37.0%  
Overdose 19.5% 18.0% 17.0% 19.0%  
Prescription or order error     14.0%  
Unclear or incomplete order     6.0%  
Dispensing error 3.3%    2.0%  
Most common reason cited for medication incident
Failure to read or misread 52% 49.0%   36.0%  
Failure to follow policy   23.0%   26.0%  
Medicines implicated
  Cardiovascular; Analgesics, CNS, Endocrine, Antibiotics Analgesics; Anticoagulants Diuretics; Respiratory; Proton Pump inhibitors   Analgesics; Anticoagulants; Diuretics; Steroids Analgesics; Anticoagulants; Insulins; Diuretics
  1. @ = none or minor; # = estimated from graph; * = Severity Assessment Code (SAC) 3 or SAC 4