A Descriptive Evaluation of Resident Prescription Writing Errors and Self-Perceived Learning Needs in Dermatology.

Prescribing errors in medical practice are common and may be preventable in a significant proportion of cases. Literature on dermatologic prescription errors is scarce. We sought to determine the rate and causes of resident prescribing errors in an outpatient dermatology practice and surveyed residents' self-perceived prescription writing learning needs. All prescription errors were tabulated at Women College Hospital's Ricky Kanee Schachter Dermatology Clinic from November 2019 to January 2020. There was an overall prescribing error rate of 1.58% (23/1457), with no significant difference between topical and systemic drugs (1.85% and 0.86%, respectively; p=0.20) or written prescriptions and electronic-medical record created prescriptions (1.66% and 1.29%, respectively; p=0.84). 26.2% (22/82) of residents responded to the survey reporting overall confidence in dermatology prescription writing as 7.14±1.75 out of 10. While the resident prescribing error rate was relatively low, multiple errors were avoidable, and residents agree targeted dermatology-specific training in prescription writing is needed.

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Authors: F Tai, R Bobotsis, M Sachdeva, A W Chan