• Review
  • Published February 2011

Systematic review of medication safety assessment methods.

Preventing medication errors requires efficient and effective methods to detect them. From incident reporting (IR) systems to trigger tools to MEDMARX, limitations in whether these systems provide a true representation of the problem remain. This systematic review compared different detection methods and found that direct observation captured the greatest number of drug-related problems while IR systems generated the least. However, IR systems demonstrated a higher specificity for severe problems and were generally the least expensive. Trigger tools were the least labor-intensive and most sensitive strategy. The authors conclude that the various detection strategies all have strengths and limitations; however, they seem to capture different drug-related problems, which suggests the need for more than one lens for medication safety detection.

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