More pharmacist oversight needed for inpatient medication management, says Manchester University researcher

News release (July 3, 2012)

More pharmacist oversight is needed to reduce hospital inpatient medication errors, conclude a Manchester University pharmacy faculty member and two research colleagues in the May issue of The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Because hospital medication error reporting is usually voluntary, research on outcomes of medication errors is limited, said Robert D. Beckett, Pharm.D., BCPS, a drug information specialist who developed and manages the Drug Information Center for the College of Pharmacy in Fort Wayne.

Beckett co-authored the research with Amy Heck Sheehan, Pharm.D., at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy and Jennifer Reddan, Pharm.D., FASHP, director of the Center for Medication Management for Indiana University Health.

In a review of 4,321 medication errors, they discovered that harmful inpatient medication errors tended to occur during early morning hours, with patients readmitted within a month after discharge, and with such high-risk medications as anticoagulants and anesthetics.

Noting that “the potential for error is considerable” during inpatient hospital stay, the researchers propose a need for more consistent pharmacist review of medication orders, more care in use of high-alert medications and more attention to recently readmitted patients.

Their peer-reviewed article, “Factors Associated with Reported Preventable Adverse Drug Events: A Retrospective, Case-Control Study,” appears in the May issue of The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, a medical journal that publishes evidence-based articles on pharmacotherapeutic practice and research.

The Annals of Pharmacotherapy has published other peer-reviewed research and articles co-authored by Beckett, about postmenopausal osteoporosis and prostate cancer medication.

Classes begin in mid-August at the Manchester University College of Pharmacy in Fort Wayne, where students will earn a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. For more about the program and the Drug Information Center, visit

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