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Introduction of a prescribing ward round to reduce prescribing errors on a paediatric intensive care unit
  1. Aisling Walsh,
  2. Rachelle Booth,
  3. Kalindi Rajani,
  4. Lynne Cochrane,
  5. Mark Peters,
  6. Pascale du Pré
  1. Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aisling Walsh, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children NHS Foundation Trust, London WC1N3JH, UK; aislingwalsh{at}


Our paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) performs active surveillance for prescribing errors and detects a mean of 1.66 with an SD of 0.18 total prescription errors per occupied bed day. The primary aim of this project was to reduce the number of prescribing errors in PICU. The secondary aims were to improve the workflow in the unit and reduce the time staff spent on medication queries/prescribing. We introduced a daily multidisciplinary prescribing round to our PICU. Prescribing errors reduced, with the mean number of total prescription errors per bed day falling from 1.66 (0.18) to 1.19 (0.13), the mean number of clinical prescription errors per bed day falling from 0.46 (0.09) to 0.3 (0.07), and the mean number of non-clinical prescribing errors per bed day falling from 1.12 (0.15) to 0.67 (0.1). Forty-eight staff responded to the survey, 39 of whom had been directly involved in the rounds. The majority (37 of 39; 95%) said the prescribing round reduced the overall time they spent on prescribing/medication queries during their shift, and 9 of 10 (90%) prescribers said that they were interrupted fewer times for medication queries while doing other tasks. Almost all (47 of 48; 98%) said that they thought the prescribing ward round should continue. Introduction of a prescribing round with senior medical and pharmacist involvement was associated with a reduction in prescribing errors as well as reduction in the overall time staff spent on medication queries and prescribing. The round was well received by staff, with 98% wanting it to continue.

  • intensive care
  • multidisciplinary team-care

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  • Contributors AW designed the intervention and the survey. AW, RB, KR and LC were involved in the rounds and survey data collection. MP helped with the data analysis. All authors contributed to writing the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. All relevant data are stored in our Trust database.