Introduction: Automated dose dispensing (ADD) is being introduced in several countries and the use of this technology is expected to increase as a growing number of elderly people need to manage their medication at home. ADD aims to improve medication safety and treatment adherence, but it may introduce new safety issues. This descriptive study provides insight into the nature and consequences of medication incidents related to ADD, as reported by healthcare professionals in community pharmacies and hospitals. Methods: The medication incidents that were submitted to the Dutch Central Medication incidents Registration (CMR) reporting system were selected and characterized independently by two researchers. Main Outcome Measures: Person discovering the incident, phase of the medication process in which the incident occurred, immediate cause of the incident, nature of incident from the healthcare provider's perspective, nature of incident from the patient's perspective, and consequent harm to the patient caused by the incident. Results: From January 2012 to February 2013 the CMR received 15,113 incidents: 3,685 (24.4%) incidents from community pharmacies and 11,428 (75.6%) incidents from hospitals. Eventually 1 of 50 reported incidents (268/15,113 = 1.8%) were related to ADD; in community pharmacies more incidents (227/3,685 = 6.2%) were related to ADD than in hospitals (41/11,428 = 0.4%). The immediate cause of an incident was often a change in the patient's medicine regimen or relocation. Most reported incidents occurred in two phases: entering the prescription into the pharmacy information system and filling the ADD bag. Conclusion: A proportion of incidents was related to ADD and is reported regularly, especially by community pharmacies. In two phases, entering the prescription into the pharmacy information system and filling the ADD bag, most incidents occurred. A change in the patient's medicine regimen or relocation was the immediate causes of an incident.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Cheung, K.C, van den Bemt, P.M.L.A, Bouvy, M.L, Wensing, M.E, & de Smet, P.A. (2014). Medication incidents related to automated dose dispensing in community pharmacies and hospitals - A reporting system study. PLoS ONE, 9(7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101686