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Letters
March 8, 2000

Preventing Medication Errors in the Intensive Care Unit—Reply

Author Affiliations
 

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(10):1287-1289. doi:10.1001/jama.283.10.1287

In Reply: Drs Chen and Yokoyama question the comparability of the study and control unit pharmacists. The backgrounds, training, and experience of the pharmacists were comparable, and the control unit pharmacist made retrospective clarifications and corrections. Thus, the reductions we found were in addition to the error prevention effect of the normal "safety net."

Drs Boullata and McDonnell raise important questions about the pharmacist's participation on rounds. Our study was confined to ADEs detected by chart review, which captures many more events than voluntary reporting. However, serious errors without injury (potential ADEs or near-misses) are often missed. Most nonpreventable ADEs were idiosyncratic reactions.

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