Medication errors in relation to direct-acting oral anticoagulants: a qualitative study of pharmacists’ views and experiences
Background: Despite their effectiveness and ease of use, medication errors have been reported to be highly prevalent with direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOAC). Aim: The aim of this study was to explore views and experiences of pharmacists on contributory factors and mitigation strategies around medication errors in relation to DOAC. Method: This study used a qualitative design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with hospital pharmacists in Saudi Arabia. The interview topic guide was developed based on previous literature and Reason's Accident Causation Model. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and MAXQDA Analytics Pro 2020 was used to thematically analyse the data (VERBI Software). Results: Twenty-three participants representing a range of experiences participated. The analysis recognised three major themes: (a) enablers and barriers faced by pharmacists in promoting safe utilisation of DOAC, such as opportunities to conduct risk assessments and offer patient counselling (b) factors related to other healthcare professionals and patients, such as opportunities for effective collaborations and patient health literacy; and (c) effective strategies to promote DOAC safety such as empowering the role of pharmacists, patient education, opportunities for risk assessments, multidisciplinary working and enforcement of clinical guidelines and enhanced roles of pharmacists. Conclusion: Pharmacists believed that enhanced education of healthcare professionals and patients, development and implementation of clinical guidelines, improvement of incident reporting systems, and multidisciplinary team working could be effective strategies to reduce DOAC-related errors. In addition, future research should utilise multifaceted interventions to reduce error prevalence.
Al Rowily, Abdulrhman