The impact of clinical pharmacist implemented education on the incidence of prescribing errors in COVID-19 patients

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Background: Clinical pharmacists have a vital role during COVID-19 pandemic in mitigating medication errors, particularly prescribing errors in hospitals. That is owing to the fact that prescribing errors during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased. Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the clinical pharmacist on the rate of prescribing errors on COVID-19 patients in a governmental hospital. Methods: The study was a pre-post study conducted from March 2020 till September 2020. It included the pre-education phase P0; a retrospective phase where all the prescriptions for COVID-19 patients were revised by the clinical pharmacy team and prescription errors were extracted. Followed by a one-month period; the clinical pharmacy team prepared educational materials in the form of posters and flyers covering all prescribing errors detected to be delivered to physicians. Then, the post-education phase P1; all prescriptions were monitored by the clinical pharmacy team to assess the rate and types of prescribing errors and the data extracted was compared to that from pre-education phase. Results: The number of prescribing errors in P0 phase was 1054 while it was only 148 in P1 Phase. The clinical pharmacy team implemented education phase helped to significantly reduce the prescribing errors from 14.7/1000 patient-days in the P0 phase to 2.56/1000 patient-days in the P1 phase (p-value <0.001). Conclusion: The clinical pharmacist significantly reduced the rate of prescribing errors in patients with COVID-19 which emphasizes the great role of clinical pharmacists’ interventions in the optimization of prescribing in these stressful conditions.