INTRODUCTION Developing mechanisms that prevent medication errors or minimise their consequences is a task that is currently being carried out at all care levels. Community pharmacists, due to their proximity to patients and the pharmacist’s training, represent a strategic point for carrying out a preventative task in medication errors. Nevertheless, tools that can be integrated into the organisation systems of pharmacies and that guarantee the safety of the patient need to be promoted and developed.
OBJECTIVE To develop a Formulario de Recogida de datos para detección de Errores de Medicación (FREM) (Form for compiling data for detecting medication errors) in community pharmacists with the aim of identifying and preventing medication errors and their causes, at the same time as promoting the introduction of safe practices in community pharmacies.
METHOD An initial form was prepared based on Ruiz-Jarabo’s classification and a pilot study was carried out in three community pharmacies in Seville and one in Malaga lasting a month, with the pharmacists compiling information about medication errors. Having been analysed and having reached a consensus between the researchers, the definitive form was prepared, applying it again to analyse its effectiveness.
RESULT During the pilot scheme, a total of 36 forms were collected, with 46 errors. Not only were dispensation errors (25.7%) detected and registered, but also all the kinds included in the classification. The most frequent was the prescription (51.4%) and the frequency, gravity and level of risk for each of them were determined. After the analysis and study, the final form was prepared, Formulario de Recogida de datos para detección de Errores de Medicación (FREM) specifically for application in community pharmacies.
CONCLUSIONS The data collection form for detecting errors in medication (FREM) is a very useful tool for detecting and preventing errors in medication in community pharmacies and, used routinely, could contribute to increasing patient safety with regard to the use of medications.