There is little longitudinal information about the type and frequency of harm resulting from medication errors among outpatient children with cancer. This study aimed to characterise rates and types of medication errors and harm to outpatient children with leukaemia and lymphoma over 7 months of treatment.
In this longitudinal study, medication errors in the clinic, pharmacy, or at home among children with leukaemia or lymphoma over a 7-month period were common, and 10% suffered harm because of errors.
Children on >13 medications had significantly more serious medication errors than those on fewer medications.
Physician reviewers judged that improved communication among caregivers and between caregivers and clinicians may have prevented the most harm (66%). Improvements addressing communication with and among caregivers should be codeveloped with families and based on human-factors engineering.
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