Table 3

Severity ratings for identified prescribing errors following multidisciplinary review

Potential severity criteriaExamplesFrequency (%)
Not clinically relevantMinorPrescription not signed.
No start date on prescription.
126 (43.8)
Clinically relevant prescribing errorsSignificantThe dose of the drug is too low for a patient with the condition being treated.
The wrong route of administration for the condition being treated is ordered, for example, intramuscular depot is prescribed for subcutaneous administration.
142 (49.3)
SeriousThe dose of the drug would result in serum drug levels in the toxic range, for example, lithium levels 1–2 mmol/L.
The drug orders could exacerbate the patient's condition, for example, drug-drug interaction or drug-disease interaction.
19 (6.6)
Life-threateningThe drug prescribed has a high potential to cause a life-threatening adverse reaction, such as anaphylaxis, in the light of the patient's medical history.
The dose of a potentially life-saving drug is too low for a patient having the disease being treated.
1 (0.3)